Bach: Nun komm, der Heiden Heilland, BWV 62
Malaysia Bach Festival Singers and Orchestra

From the YouTube page:

For two years, the Malaysia Bach Festival Singers and Orchestra have been looking forward to performing at the St. Thomas Church during Bachfest Leipzig 2020 in June. Since the festival has now been postponed to 2022, we decided to make a virtual performance recording of a complete cantata – Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62 – one of the three cantatas which we were going to perform at the festival. Here’s the opening chorus movement, and more to come.

We would like to especially thank our baritone Caleb Woo, who has spent much effort and incredible amount of time to compile, engineer, and produce the audio. We would also like to thank members of the Malaysia Bach Festival Singers and Orchestra who voluntarily contributed to this very challenging recording project, even during this very trying time. Scenes of the St. Thomas Church seen throughout the video was filmed by our videographer Moses Lim. Our gratitude also extended to Carus-Verlag for sponsoring us the Urtext performance score.

May this recording bring much hope and joy to our friends both near and far, and we look forward so much to the day when we will actually perform at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.

Chew Shi Yun, Soprano (Kuala Lumpur)
Rachel Kwok, Soprano (Hong Kong)
Esther Ting, Soprano (New York)
Chia Wee Kiat, Alto (Boston)
Lee Mei Yen, Alto (Kuala Lumpur)
Chan Wei En, Alto (Singapore)
Okawa Tan, Tenor (Sarawak)
Pablo Willey-Bustos, Tenor (New York)
Caeleb Tee, Tenor (Kuala Lumpur)
Caleb Woo, Baritone (Hong Kong)
Bryan Sim, Baritone (Selangor)
Chin Vun Chieh, Baritone (Kuala Lumpur)

Bernice Ooi, Concertmaster (Sweden)
Lee Hai Lin, Violin 1 (Kuala Lumpur)
Mabel Wong, Violin 1 (Kuala Lumpur)
Wong Lu Ee, Violin 2 (Kuala Lumpur)
Lisa Chia, Violin 2 (Kuala Lumpur)
Keng Xin Tian, Violin 2 (Kuala Lumpur)
Andrew Filmer, Viola (Kuala Lumpur)
Angela Lou, Viola (Kuala Lumpur)
Chong Eugene, Cello (Kuala Lumpur)
U-En Ng, Viola da gamba (Kuala Lumpur)
Clement Leong, Double bass (Kuching)
Nelson Wong, Oboe (Kuala Lumpur)
Shigeki Sasaki, Oboe (Japan)
Howard Ng, Oboe (Singapore)
Midori Suzuki, Bassoon (Japan)
David Chin, Conductor & Harpsichord (Selangor)

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Oh my, but he amazes me!

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
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*arrangement for oboe by Eugene Izotov*

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Once again, VOCES8 makes my day … or night … or perhaps both.

Session footage from VOCES8’s recording of cantata 150 ‘Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich’ by JS Bach. VOCES8 is recording with the Academy of Ancient Music (Bojan Cicic, leader), directed by Barnaby Smith. The track forms part of the VOCES8’s 15th anniversary recording project, ‘After Silence’, and can be found on all digital music platforms. For more information about the album project, visit VOCES8 After Silence.

Notes by Paul Williamson
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150, known only from secondary sources, is probably Bach’s earliest surviving cantata, written while he was organist at the Neue Kirche in Arnstadt (1703–7). The work’s modest scoring reflects the limited musical resources at his disposal; it is also an old- style Protestant cantata, untouched by the reforms of Erdmann Neumeister, who advocated the introduction of madrigalesque poetry, operatic recitatives and da capo arias. BWV 150 takes a more restrained Lutheran approach, setting texts from Scripture (verses from Psalm 25 in movements 2, 4 and 6) alongside interpretative stanzas by an unknown poet (in movements 3, 5 and 7). To understand the Psalms, Luther said, we must consider that David was a prophet, and unless he instructs otherwise, we must take the sacred poetry to refer to Christ. Accordingly, in BWV 150, the Psalmist’s entreaties to the God of the Old Testament find Christian meanings in the exegetical modern verse. Similarly, commenting on Psalm 25:15 (set in movement 6), Luther explains the image of the ‘foot’ being released from the ‘net’ as the redemptive power of God’s grace, delivering the faithful from worldly snares. Valuing sacred music as a divine gift, Luther also compared the harmonious singing of many voices to a ‘heavenly dance’, a point surely recalled by Bach in the final movement of Nach dir, Herr, which takes the form of a chaconne. Nearly two centuries later, Bach’s inviting little dance was famously reborn in the final movement of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, premiered in October 1885.

Text and Translation
Words: Psalm 25:1–2, 5, 15 (mvts 2, 4, 6); anon. (mvts 3, 5, 7)

1. Sinfonia

2. Chor
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. Mein Gott, ich hoffe auf dich. Laß mich nicht zuschanden werden, daß sich meine Feinde nicht freuen über mich.
Lord, I long for you. My God, I hope in you.
Let me not be put to shame, so that my enemies will not rejoice over me.

3. Arie (Soprano)
Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnügt, Obgleich hier zeitlich toben Kreuz, Sturm und andre Proben, Tod, Höll, und was sich fügt.
Ob Unfall schlägt den treuen Knecht, Recht ist und bleibet ewig Recht.
Yet I am and remain content, although at the moment here may rage
cross, storm and other trials, death, hell, and what is theirs. Though misfortune strike the true servant, right is and remains eternally right.

4. Chor
Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit und lehre mich; denn du bist der Gott, der mir hilft, täglich harre ich dein.
Lead me in your Truth and teach me; for you are the God, who helps me, I await you daily.

5. Terzett (Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Zedern müssen von den Winden Oft viel Ungemach empfinden, Oftmals werden sie verkehrt.
Rat und Tat auf Gott gestellet, Achtet nicht, was widerbellet, Denn sein Wort ganz anders lehrt.
Cedars must, before the winds, often feel much hardship, often they will be destroyed. Place your words and deeds before God,
heed not what howls against you, since his Word teaches otherwise.

6. Chor
Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn; denn er wird meinen Fuß aus dem Netze ziehen.
My eyes gaze continually at the Lord; for he will draw my foot out of the net.

7. Chor
Meine Tage in den Leiden
Endet Gott dennoch zur Freuden; Christen auf den Dornenwegen Führen Himmels Kraft und Segen. Bleibet Gott mein treuer Schutz, Achte ich nicht Menschentrutz; Christus, der uns steht zur Seiten. Hilft mir täglich sieghaft streiten.
My days in suffering
God will nevertheless end in joy; Christians upon the thorny pathways are led by Heaven’s power and blessing.
If God remains my dearest treasure, I need not heed mankind’s cruelty; Christ, who stands by our side, helps me daily fight to victory.

Academy of Ancient Music
Bojan Cicic, Violin I (Leader)
Davina Clarke, Violin II
Jonathan Byers, Cello
Judith Evans, Double Bass
Ursula Leveaux, Bassoon
Alastair Ross, Organ
William Carter, Theorbo

but honestly?! This guy is playing four non-related instruments. Okay then.

Principal Clarinetist of the Utah Symphony playing Gershwin

But why didn’t he sing and dance? Hm.