The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is pure perfection: a vast yet intricate tapestry of heavenly beauty and human emotion. 

This SACD presents Bach’s two sacred cantatas for solo bass, performed by acclaimed Australian baritone David Greco. 

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. 

Bach Bass Cantatas

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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 Greco baritone Van Diemen’s Band
Julia Fredersdorff artistic directorJasu Moisio oboe

Recorded at ABC Studios Ultimo, October 2019