Hyphen Press

Sleepers awake!

The Bach Players

Large hpm010
  • sample

    For a sample (part of the opening chorus of Bach’s cantata ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’), click above

  • dimensions

    130 × 134 mm

  • playing time


[HPM 010]

Behind J.S. Bach stood Dietrich Buxtehude, the pre-eminent German composer of the seventeenth century and now unfairly neglected. In this recording The Bach Players reunite the two composers, featuring their settings of the text ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ (Sleepers awake! The voice calls us). The text uses the parable, from Matthew’s gospel, of the wise and foolish virgins at the wedding feast. One of Buxtehude’s settings (BuxWV 100) is remarkable for its four violin parts, used as if they were trumpets. Also on the disc: Buxtehude’s glorious chaconne-form sacred concerto ‘Quemadmodum desiderat cervus’, for solo tenor voice and two violins, and a trio sonata for two violins, viola da gamba, and harpsichord. A sonata by Erlebach gives us the chance to hear the piccolo violin, which Bach deploys in his ‘Wachet auf’. As always in the Bach Players’ recordings, the sequence of pieces is imaginatively conceived and full of variety.

The music

Dieterich Buxtehude (c.1637 – 1707): Cantata ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’, BuxWV 101

Dieterich Buxtehude: Trio sonata in C major for two violins, viola da gamba, and basso continuo, BuxWV 266

Dieterich Buxtehude: Ciaccona aria ‘Quemadmodum desiderat cervus’ for tenor, two violins, and basso continuo, BuxWV 92

Dieterich Buxtehude: Cantata ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’, BuxWV 100

Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657–1714): Sonata no. 6 in F major for violono piccolo, viola da gamba, and basso continuo

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): Cantata ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’, BWV 140

The musicians

The Bach Players:
Rachel Elliott soprano
Sally Bruce-Payne alto
Samuel Boden tenor
Jonathan Gunthorpe bass
James Eastaway oboe
Mark Radcliffe oboe
Richard Earle taille
Anneke Scott horn
Nicolette Moonen violin / piccolo violin & director
Anne Schumann violin
Oliver Webber violin
Catherine Weiss violin
Reiko Ichise viola da gamba
Olaf Reimers cello
Alastair Mitchell bassoon
Pawel Siwczak organ / harpsichord

Recording & production

Producer: Roy Mowatt
Recording engineer: Alan Mosley
Editing and mastering: Nicholas Parker

Recorded at St Michael’s Church, Highgate, London, 11–13 November 2014


A 28-page accompanying booklet includes an essay on the music by Nicholas Anderson, notes by Nicolette Moonen on the instruments used, and texts of the words sung and with English translations. The booklet and CD packet are illustrated by photographs of the musicians in concert and at the recording sessions.