Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage

Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner discusses his "Bach Cantata Pilgrimage" with his Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra. In 1999 Gardiner set out to perform all of the Master's extant church cantatas on the appointed feast day and all within a single year.

Bach is probably the only composer whose musical output is so rich, so challenging to the performers and so spiritually uplifting to both performer and listener alike, that one would gladly spend a year in his exclusive company.
–Sir John Eliot Gardiner

The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI
Total Time: about 60 minutes.


  1. Fantastic--thanks for sharing! I've always thought that Gardiner takes things a little fast but I think that's because I grew up on Karl Richter recordings. Compare this to the opening of Part I of the Gardiner clips:

  2. You know I had the same reaction to Gardiner at first and overall he is usually faster than I would expect. The balance he achieves between the voices is absolutely amazing.

    Yet the Richter recording you linked is glorious! And perhaps his tempo is more appropriate for the theme of "awakening" which comes across more strongly in his performance.

    Thanks for posting this!