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Johann Rudolf Ahle 1625 – 1673
Johann Sebastian Bach 1685 – 1750
Jakob Gruchmann *1991
Alma Mahler-Werfel 1879 – 1964
Johann Schelle 1648 – 1701

Ensemble BachWerkVokal
Gordon Safari

MDG 923 2259-6(Hybrid SACD)

Price: 21,99 €


"It is enough" - three words that evoke endless associations in music lovers and Bible scholars alike. With this third recording, Gordon Safari and his ensemble BachWerkVokal have once again built a programme around these words that is rich in associations and always surprising. Throughout the centuries, it most touchingly illustrates the change in the view of the end of earthly life.

Of course, Bach's cantata "O Eternity, Thou Word of Thunder" cannot be missing: The concluding chorale with the three striking whole-tone steps at the beginning has written music history, not least as a motif in Alban Berg's twelve-tone violin concerto. Thus the arc spans to Alma Mahler, upon whose daughter's death the violin concerto was composed. Mahler's songs exude the expressive individualism of the early 20th century, in clear contrast to the pious redemptive certainty of earlier times.

This is exemplarily expressed in Bach's doublechoir motet "Komm, Jesu, komm", or in the "Aria à 5" on the same text by Bach's predecessor Johann Schelle. With Jakob Gruchmann's cantata "Genug"(Enough), premiered in 2021, BachWerkVokal deals with the consumerism of our days - and the question of what finiteness means in the face of unbounded digitalisation.

As always, BachWerkVokal has an absolutely topclass cast. The extremely agile vocal ensemble, with only a few singers, is contrasted by an equally flexible instrumental grouping with various wind and percussion instruments. Gordon Safari shapes all this with stylistic confidence and a fine sense for the intensity of the music. It is surprising that the ensemble knows how to handle historical instruments as well as the modern sound language. Especially: the inclusion of the entire church hall for the recording of Gruchmann's cantata is a special feast for lovers of three-dimensional reproduction with a spatial sound that begins to glow on Super Audio CD.

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