- Nun treten wir ins neue Jahr, motet
- Dem Menschen ist gesetzt, einmal zu sterben, motet
Read the graphics carefully: no motets by Johann Sebastian Bach (except for one piece generally attributed to Johann Christoph Bach, but possibly the work of J.S.) are included here. Instead there are works by three of J.S. Bach's ancestors in the 17th century, including the very first composer in the 250-year Bach musical clan, Johann Bach (1604-1673). It's usually the Bach sons whose music is recorded, and all three of these composers qualify as obscure. Considering the fact that J.S. Bach set himself the task of compiling this music and obviously admired some of it, there will be reason enough for many buyers to acquire this Outhere release. There are certainly flashes of the characteristic Bach genius in a few of these works. Try the Johann Michael Bach motet "Halt, was du hast" (CD 1, track 7), and note the complexity with which the chorale "Jesu, meine Freude" is treated: it's hard not to think that the younger Bach had this in mind when he approached the chorale himself in the motet medium. The music on the album traces the passage of Italian styles across Germany while remaining firmly rooted in the chorale tradition, and the composers' flexibility in combining these elements must have had a general impact on the most talented Bach of them all. The performances of the small Vox Luminis choir with the Scorpio Collectief -- a quintet of winds and brasses with organ continuo -- are generally sparse, with one voice per part. This is questionable in music that took the great cathedral choirs of Venice for its performance model, but it's listenable and puts across the stylistic distinctions effectively. Recommended for Bach fans.