Bach: Actus Tragicus – 2016

Vox Luminis now tackles Johann Sebastian himself, in a programme of cantatas composed in 1707/1708, which are thus among the composer’s earliest. Notable among them is the poignant cantata ‘Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit’ (“God’s time is the best of all times”) BWV 106, also known as the ‘Actus tragicus’, which was composed for a funeral ceremony. Bach was therefore just twenty-two years old when he wrote this cantata, which opens with a deeply moving dialogue for recorders and continues with the equally fervent chorus ‘Gottes Zeit…’.

“This is great music-making, and the ease with which the sensible tempi changes are managed without any overt conducting as well as the cohesion and coherence of the style that make the texts the focus of the performances sets a new benchmark in the way we are learning to approach Bach Cantatas.”

—Early Music Review


“Vox Luminis live up to their name with clear, soft textures redolent of 17th-century devotional rhetoric…the single voices and instruments constitute a remarkably crystalline landscape. Emotional restraint also offers some ear-pricking moments.”



“There are many beautiful moments in this programme of four early cantatas by Bach…the seriousness with which Lionel Meunier and Vox Luminis approach this work is evident, and the forces are ideal”

—BBC Magazine




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