Johann Christoph Bach "Welt, gute Nacht"

The Independent, by Andy Gill, 9 September 2011


Having presumably exhausted the entire corpus of J S Bach's devotional work in his 18-volume series of Bach Cantatas, John Eliot Gardiner here turns his attention to the lesser-known work of Bach's older first cousin JC. Bach, with a selection of eight Dialogues, Arias, Laments and Motets in which the prospect of afterlife comes as a blessed relief from the torments and afflictions of life.

It's as elegantly poised as you'd expect from Gardiner, with the eight singers accompanied in sombre period arrangements by the English Baroque Soloists, in which the violas da gamba seem to weep. Out of keeping with the rest is the concluding "Thou Art Fair, My Love", a tale of courtly love marked by diffidence.