Daniel Taylor; Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Jeanne Lamon

Analekta AN 2 9878

Daniel Taylor joins Tafelmusik for two selections on their 78th recording, performing two of Bach’s four cantatas for solo alto voice. Both on texts by Darmstadt court poet, Georg Christian Lehms, BWV54, Widerstehe doch der Sünde, is from Bach’s Weimar period while the other, BWV170, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, was composed and performed in 1726 at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. While in the exhortation to “resist sin” in Cantata 54 Bach provides a dramatic struggle complete with harmonic discord and a chromatic fugue, Cantata 170 focuses on the peace of a promised “delightful rest” in heaven. Rather than voice strictly accompanied by continuo, there is much interest in the interplay between voice, strings and particularly organ. Taylor maintains a reverential character throughout, even in the dramatic moments, focusing instead on the calm and steadfast reassurance of faith with superb tonal control that never sacrifices its sublime beauty.

The Tafelmusik orchestra is in fine form along with director Jeanne Lamon, violin and John Abberger, oboe, who are featured respectively in the Suite in A minor for violin and strings, BWV1067 and the Concerto for oboe and violin in C minor, BWV1060. The middle adagio cantabile movement in the latter allows the two soloists to engage in an exquisite musical exchange. All perform with deftness, poise and grace worthy of Bach’s enduring artistry.

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