Praise for Robin Blaze’s extraordinary interpretation of Bach Cantatas features in the classical music press this month, as his collaboration with the Bach Collegium Japan and their conductor Masaaki Suzuki continues to thrive.
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood of Gramophone says “...in BWV27, such is the ringing paradise of the fragrant oboe d’amore and obbligato harpsichord that Robin Blaze’s sprightly and generous singing leaves us relishing the prospect of our passing, as much as embracing ‘the valuable treasure’ of Christ’s imminent arrival”.
George Pratt of BBC Music Magazine says that “Blaze is totally at ease duetting with oboe da caccia”, and Simon Heighes of International Record Review says that “the movement is handled with exceptional sensitivity” and that Blaze and the other singers “bring to their asides a deeply lyrical sincerity”.
Robin has just returned from touring Hong Kong with BCJ, where the press were equally enthusiastic. Sam Olluver of South China Morning Post says that “Suzuki had a commanding group of vocal soloists; the fact that they’ve collaborated before ensured familiarity with both the music and Suzuki’s working style. Stepping forward from the chorus for solo spots, Hana Blazikova (soprano), Robin Blaze (countertenor), Gerd Turk (tenor) and bass Peter Kooij sang to crystalline effect, with never a hint of ego obscuring the music” and “the selection of cantatas gave the countertenor most of the limelight. Blaze responded superbly with a musicality that was all the more powerful for its restraint: Ich folge dir nach from Sehet, wir gehen hinauf (BWV159) was truly affecting”.
This year will feature more Bach for Robin Blaze, including a recording of the Motets with the Collegium Vocale Gent conducted by Philippe Herreweghe, St John Passion with the Northern Sinfonia conducted by Matthew Halls and staged performances of St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.