Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton NJ---Light the legend / Michael Isaacson -- Judah's song of praise / Samuel Adler -- Light / Michael Isaacson -- Celebrate Chanukah / Joel Phillips -- Hanerot halalu / Ronald Hemmel -- A song of Hanukkah / Samuel Adler -- Mi y'maleil ; S'vivon / arr. Joseph Flummerfelt -- Rock of age / arr. Samuel Adler -- Judas Maccabaeus. See the conqu'ring hero comes ; Sing unto God ; Hallelujah, Amen / George Frideric Handel -- Al hanissim / Dov Frimer ; arr. Joshua Jacobson and Hankus Netsky -- Mi zeh y'maleil / arr. Joshua Jacobson -- Maoz tzur / Benedetto Marcello ; arr. Abraham Kaplan -- Hanerot halalu / Baruch Cohon ; arr. Blanche Chass -- Ocho kandelikas / Flory Jagoda ; arr. Joshua Jacobson -- Shalom rav / Erik L.F. Contzius -- Light one candle / Peter Yarrow ; arr. Robert DeCormier -- Shalom rav / Meir Finkelstein -- I have a little dreydl / Michael Gelbart ; arr. Matthew Lazar and Tayku -- Al hanissim / Michael Isaacson -- We celebrate Chanukah / Allan E. Naplan ; arr. [Allan E.] Naplan and Jason Iannuzzi.
Bach Edition: Easter Oratorio / Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 / Cantate BMV 66- Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen
Manufacturer: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
Bach's Easter Oratorio isn't really an oratorio along the lines of the Christmas Oratorio and the St. Matthew and St. John Passions. There's no Evangelist reciting passages from the Gospels, for example. While Bach did assign characters' names (Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, etc.) to the solo parts in his first version (itself adapted from a secular cantata), he removed those names later. Basically, it's a lavish Easter cantata, with two instrumental sinfonias before the first jubilant chorus and more contemplative arias for soprano (sung here by an unusually warm Barbara Schlick) and for tenor with flutes. The "oratorio" is paired with a similarly joyful but smaller-scale cantata, Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, BWV 66. This 1995 recording shows typical Herreweghe strengths (warm sound and a gentle, soulful quality) and weaknesses (a certain reserve in the exuberant passages--a tendency that has subsequently lessened, as evidenced by his wonderful B-Minor Mass). Ton Koopman's Easter Oratorio may be more satisfying, but at such a reasonable price, this one is certainly worth having if you're a Herreweghe fan, even if it isn't his best work. --Matthew Westphal