Album: Bach, Cantatas BWV 51, 82a and 199, (Virgin Classics)

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The Independent Culture

Natalie Dessay's second Bach project with Emmanuelle Haïm is stylistically uneasy.

There's a childlike freshness to the chorale in "Jauchzett Gott in allen Landen", but the coloratura is slippery and the slow aria too smoochy for devotional purposes. Neil Brough (trumpet) and Patrick Beaugirard (oboe) are outstanding, but why use two different flautists in "Ich habe genug"? This too has a sensuality that seems misplaced, though Dessay's dramatic account of "Mein Herze schwimmit in Blut" is persuasive.

Pick of the Album: A warm reading of 'Tief gebückt und voller Reue'