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Bach: Bass Cantatas (David Greco & Van Diemen’s Band)

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is pure perfection: a vast yet intricate tapestry of heavenly beauty and human emotion. Music was for Bach the means through which mortals could directly experience the divine, and his cantatas reveal his extraordinary gift for communicating directly with his listeners, even across three centuries. As dramatic and passionate as any opera, each cantata carries us deep into the heart of its story.

This CD presents Bach’s two sacred cantatas for solo bass, performed by acclaimed Australian baritone David Greco and the exciting Tasmanian Baroque ensemble Van Diemen’s Band. Both cantatas offer us a vision of comfort and hope, beautifully conveyed by Greco’s rich, warm tones: Ich habe genug (It is enough), BWV82, is an outpouring of uttermost relief and joy: long, agonising years of waiting are forgotten as the old man Simeon realises that the baby he is cradling in his arms is the Christ child who brings new hope for the world. Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (Gladly will I bear the cross), BWV56, presents the human journey as a sea voyage, tossed on raging waters before coming safe home to port in heaven.

The album also presents a selection of bass arias and instrumental movements taken from cantatas across Bach’s long career, from the carefree joy of the opening sinfonia to his cantata Der Herr denket an uns (BWV196) – written for a wedding, perhaps even for Bach’s own wedding in 1707 – to the profound tranquility of Betrachte, meine Seel (Contemplate, O my soul) from the St John Passion, as revised by Bach in 1749, just one year before his death.

Warmth, honesty, truth, compassion and transcendent beauty: this recording by the cream of Australia’s early music specialists will make you fall in love with Bach all over again.

About the Artists

Internationally regarded for his interpretations of Schubert lieder and works of J.S. Bach, David Grecohas sung on some of the finest stages across Europe, and has appeared as a principal in the world’s most exciting opera festivals including the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

In 2014, he became the first Australian appointed to a position with the Sistine Chapel Choir in the Vatican, Rome.

David regularly appears as a soloist with Australia’s finest ensembles and orchestras, such as the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and most recently with the Sydney Symphony in their Helpmann Award-winning concerts of Bach’s cantata for bass, Ich habe genug. In 2017, he was a principal artist with Opera Australia, appearing in The Eighth Wonder and The Love of Three Oranges, and his appearance as Seneca in Pinchgut Opera’s production of The Coronation of Poppea received critical acclaim.

David has an impressive catalogue of solo recordings spread across a variety of labels, including Poems of Love & War, featuring arias by New Zealand composer Jack Body on the Naxos label. In 2019, David made his first recital album, presenting works by J.S. Bach, with the Netherlands-based Luthers Bach Ensemble on the European label Brilliant Classics.

David is an active researcher into the historical performance practice of 19th-century voice and recently received his doctorate from the University of Melbourne. His PhD has led to the first Australian recording project exploring the historically informed performance of Schubert’s song cycles Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin on the ABC Classic label, the latter receiving an ARIA nomination for Best Classical Album in 2020

Based in the wild and unspoiled island state of Tasmania at the southernmost tip of Australia, ‘Australia’s Baroque supergroup’ Van Diemen’s Band is made up of some of the country’s most highly respected early music specialists, who between them have worked with leading ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, Les Talens Lyriques, Ensemble Pygmalion, Il Pomo d’Oro, Orchestre des Champs-.lys.es, The English Concert, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Le Parlement de Musique and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.

Founded in 2016 by violinist Julia Fredersdorff, Van Diemen’s Band varies in size from an intimate chamber group to a larger mid-18th-century orchestra, working with regular guest directors such as French Baroque specialist Martin Gester, exploring the creativity and freedom of expression in music of the baroque while deferring to historical sources on style and instrumentation.

Van Diemen’s Band’s debut CD for ABC Classic, Cello Napoletano, featuring soloist Catherine Jones in the cello concertos of Nicola Fiorenza, was released internationally in 2018 to critical acclaim. Since then, the group has appeared in concerts and festivals in its home state and around mainland Australia, establishing itself as one of the most distinguished new groups in the arts scene ‘Down Under’.

www.vandiemensband.com.au

TRACKLISTING

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH 1685–1750

1     Aria: Ach! ich sehe (Ah! I see)

       from Cantata BWV162 Ach! ich sehe, itzt, da ich zur Hochzeit gehe (Ah! Now, on my
way to the wedding banquet, I see)

       Matthew Manchester flatt trumpet

2     Aria: Auf Gott steht meine Zuversicht (My trust is founded on God)

       from Cantata BWV138 Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz (My heart, why are you troubled?)

3     Sinfonia° from Cantata BWV21 Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis (I was in great distress)

4     Arioso: Betrachte, meine Seel (Contemplate, O my soul) from St John Passion, BWV245

       Donald Nicolson harpsichord

       Ich habe genug (It is enough), BWV82

5     I. Aria: Ich habe genug (It is enough)°

6     II. Recitative: Ich habe genug (It is enough)

7     III. Aria: Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen (Sleep, dull eyes)

8     IV. Recitative: Mein Gott! wenn kömmt das schöne: Nun!

       (O God, when shall I hear that beautiful word ‘Now!’)

9     V. Aria: Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod (I look forward to my death)°

10   Sinfonia from Cantata BWV196 Der Herr denket an uns (The Lord is mindful of us)

11   Aria: Es ist vollbracht (It is done)°

12   Chorale: Jesu, deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude (Jesus, your suffering
is for me pure joy)

       from Cantata BWV159 Sehet, wir geh’n hinauf gen Jerusalem (See, we are going
up to Jerusalem)

       Anna Fraser soprano, Stephanie Dillon alto, Eric Peterson tenor

13   Sinfonia II° from Cantata BWV35 Geist und Seele wird verwirret (Spirit and soul
are thrown into confusion)

       Donald Nicolson organ

       Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (Gladly will I bear the cross), BWV56

14   I. Aria: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (Gladly will I bear the cross)°

15   II. Recitative: Mein Wandel auf der Welt (My wanderings over the earth)

16   III. Aria: Endlich, endlich wird mein Joch (One day at last I shall be set free from my yoke)°

17   IV. Recitative: Ich stehe fertig und bereit (I stand ready and prepared)

18.   Chorale: Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder (Come, O Death, Sleep’s brother)

       Anna Fraser soprano, Stephanie Dillon alto, Eric Peterson tenor

David Grecobaritone

Van Diemen’s Band

Julia Fredersdorffartistic director

Jasu Moisiooboe°

Release
       “250 years ago, Ludwig van Beethoven, the Grand Mogul from Bonn (as Haydn cheekily referred to him) was born. The German composer, whose own extraordinary story famously includes suffering from profound deafness from his late 20s, would become regarded as the great musical liberator, forging the course of the Romantic movement and beyond.” Richard TognettiIn 2020 the Australian Chamber Orchestra will celebrate two monumental anniversaries: 30 years of fearless leadership with ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti and 250 years since the birth of the great Ludwig van Beethoven.To celebrate both milestones, ABC Classic is releasing a collection of the ACO’s legendary Beethoven recordings – including never-before released recordings of two of his greatest works: Symphonies 5 and 6.These recordings represent some of the orchestra’s finest performances, including two #1 albums and three ARIA Award-nominees, and feature collaborations with some of Australia’s finest artists – soprano Nicole Car, and pianistsTamara Anna Cislowska andErin Helyard.Beethoven has endured for centuries as one of the most popular and beloved composers around the world, with his music found everywhere from concert halls, to film soundtracks, to disco-era chart-toppers. He was a true musical revolutionary and is credited with paving the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras. His music has always been a mainstay of the ACO’s core repertoire, but this marks the first time that they have recorded these two monumental symphonies.Since its establishment in November 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has become one of the world’s most daring and exciting ensembles, renowned globally for its inspired programming, unrivalled virtuosity, energy and individuality, showcased through an extensive and ongoing program of international touring and recordings for many of the world’s top labels.★★★★★“The Australian Chamber Orchestra was splendid in its all-Beethoven concert… [achieving] revealing clarity that gleamed like the colours of an old master newly restored.” – Sydney Morning Herald“[Beethoven’s] Fifth is always a crowdpleaser, and the ACO made it exceptionally so. This was the stuff of dreams.” – LimelightTRACKLISTING  CD1Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 *1   I.   Allegro con brio2   II.  Andante con moto3   III.Allegro –4   IV.AllegroSymphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 ‘Pastoral’ *5   I.   Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside6   II.  Scene by the brook7   III.Merry gathering of country folk –8   IV.Thunder, Storm –9   V.  Shepherd’s song. Cheerful and thankful feelings after the stormCD2String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (arr. for string orchestra by Richard Tognetti)1   I.   Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro2   II.  Presto3   III.Poco scherzoso4   IV.Alla Danza tedesca5   V.  Cavatina6   VI.Grosse Fuge7   Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F major, Op. 50      Satu Vänskä– violin8   Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 ‘Emperor’: II. Adagio un poco mosso     Tamara-Anna Cislowska– piano9   Ah! perfido ... Per pietà, non dirmi addio, Op. 65     Nicole Car – sopranoCD3Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 30, No. 3 1   I.   Allegro assai2   II.  Tempo di Minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso3   III.Allegro vivaceSonata for Violin and Piano in A major, Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer’ 4   Ia.Adagio sostenuto –5   Ib.Presto6   II.  Andante con Variazioni7   III.Presto     Richard Tognetti – violin     Erin Helyard– fortepiano8   Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61: I. Allegro ma non troppo     Richard Tognetti– violin* Never previously released
Release
The Huntington Estate Music Festival is one of the brightest stars in Australia’s musical firmament. For three decades, it has been bringing together top-flight musicians from around the country and around the world to present a breathtaking array of chamber music masterpieces, both iconic favourites and delicious new discoveries. Presented by the Huntington Estate Winery in association with Musica Viva Australia, and held in the winery’s Barrel Room, one of the most remarkable and surprising music venues in the world, the Festival is a delight to audiences and musicians alike.After 30 stellar years of exceptional music-making, however, the 2019 Festival will be the last, with Huntington Estate owners Tim and Nicky Stevens reluctantly deciding that their grapes – and their young family – must come first. To mark this significant occasion, ABC Classic is proud to delve into its broadcast archives to present this selection of some of the Festival’s most memorable performances across a typically diverse and intriguing range of repertoire: from Schubert and Dvořák to Bach’s astonishing eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann and Australian composers Ross Edwards and Ian Munro.It was Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra who began the Festival and established it as a serious contender on the world stage – and the hottest concert tickets in the country! This album includes superb three recordings from those early years: music of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Percy Grainger.In 2006, the ACO passed the baton to Musica Viva and Artistic Director Carl Vine, opening up the Festival’s artist roster to an extraordinary range of musicians, both local and international. From among the literally hundreds of thrilling performances, this album features New York-based Australian pianist Andrea Lam, Russian-Armenian clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, the rich bass-baritone of Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Vienna’s acclaimed Eggner Trio, along with regular Festival guests the Goldner String Quartet and the rising stars of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Chamber Orchestra.…/2The CD of this compilation is available exclusively at the Festival itself, but for all those who can’t make the trip to Mudgee, ABC Classic is releasing the full album as a digital album, for download and streaming, so that audiences all around the world can share in the celebration. TRACKLISTING  1     MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’: II. Vivace non troppo2     BRAHMS arr. ANGERER Chorale Prelude ‘O Gott, du frommer Gott’3     GRAINGER Blithe Bells       Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti director (2002 / 2004)        SCHUBERT4     An die Musik (To Music)5     Erlkönig (The Erl-King)6     Die Forelle (The Trout)7     Die Taubenpost (Pigeon Post) from Schwanengesang       Teddy Tahu Rhodes bass-baritone, Kristian Chong piano (2007)        WF BACH Sinfonia in F major ‘Dissonant’8     I. Vivace9     II. Andante10   III. Vivace11   IV. Menuetto I & II       ANAM Chamber Orchestra, Paul Wright violin / conductor (2010)      12   ROSS EDWARDS String Quartet No. 2 ‘Shekina Fantasy’:       I. Allegro moderato       Goldner String Quartet (2010)        MENDELSSOHN13   Song without Words Op. 67 No. 2 – Allegro leggiero14   Song without Words Op. 85 No. 4 – Andante sostenuto       Andrea Lam piano (2012) 15   WEBER Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major: II. Fantasia       Narek Arutyunian clarinet, Australian String Quartet (2012)        MUNRO Piano Trio No. 2 ‘Book of Lullabies’ – Excerpts16   II. Lullaby in Edo17   III. Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi18   IV. Skye Boat Song       Dimity Hall violin, Julian Smiles cello, Ian Munro piano (2013) 19   DVOŘÁK Piano Trio No. 1: II. Adagio molto e mesto       Eggner Trio (2015)