Bach – Das Kantatenwerk Complete Cantatas BWV 99-102

Maybe it is too much to say that again, this is so much better than any version I’ve heard before? Just like with the Matthew Passion I wrote about before, this makes me want to listen to more of this. It puts all the other recordings to shame. Actually, Helmut Rilling recorded his version in the same year. Most of my other Bach Cantatas were recorded by him.

Where Rilling published his series in combinations that made sense, the series that Gustav Leonhardt and Nikolaus Harnoncourt created were done in catalogue order. There is no other connection than that they happened to have following numbers.

Two of the four cantatas here were based on a hymn by Samuel Rodigast called Was Gott tut das ist wohlgetan. It was written in 1674, and Bach first performed the cantata 99 in 1724, fifty years later. He repeated what seems to me like a jubilee ten years later with cantata 100. The text is related to the bible verses that are supposed to be read on the fifteenth Sunday after Trinity. So they would have functioned as a decoration to the sermon in church for that date.

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