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Album: Bach, Cantatas Volume 13, (Soli Deo Gloria)

The latest disc from John Eliot Gardiner's millennium Bach Pilgrimage finds the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists celebrating Advent in Köln and Lüneburg.

Two settings of Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (BWV 61 and 62), from Weimar in 1714 and Leipzig in 1724, anticipate the arrival of Christ in music of avenging angels, all fire, fury and dynamism, with stern bass lines. Prettiness comes later in the church calendar, in Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (BWV 147) with its cradle-rocking, Chorale-setting, "Jesus bleibet meine Freude".