Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Heinrich Schutz, Christoph Bernhard, Johann Rosenmuller|
German 17th Century Church Music
Genres: Pop, Classical
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 05/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS RECORDING EXPLORES THE RICH AND STILL LITTLE-KNOWN REPERTORY OF GERMAN CHURCH MUSIC BETWEEN HEINRICH SCHUTZ(1585-1672) AND JS BACH(1685-1750),CONCENTRATING ON MUSIC THAT LOOKS AS IF IT WAS CONCEIVED FOR AN ADULT SOLO SINGER.
The first group of pieces on this disc comes from Schutz and his circle, whose music was largely dependent on Italian models. In the 1620's and 30's a new Italian style became popular in Germany, and began to be cultivated along with the old. It used small combinations of solo voices and obligato instruments and was dependent upon skilled singers, most of whom were falsettists or castrati. This recording explores the rich and still little-known repertory of German Church Music, concentrating on music that made use of a male alto soloist.
The first group of pieces is derived from Schutz and his group. The chorale 'Erbarme dich mein, O herre Gott' by Schutz made use of a 16th century chorale melody and decorated it with Italianate or expressive devices.
Christoph Bernhard, Schutz's favored pupil, was a 'contralto' singer and probably not only wrote 'Was betrubust du dich, meine seele', but also sang it himself.
Johann Rosenmuller(whose music I favor) composed 'Christum ducem, qui per crucem' somewhat in the style of Monteverdi, in that the voice and the violins only coincide in the last few bars. His 'Sonata II in e minor' features an almost operatic duet between two violins.
The next 3 pieces by Buxtehude starting with 'Jesu Meine Freud und Lust' is in a lilting triple time and a sweet A major; the very attractive and much recorded 'Jubilate Domino' consists of a sonata and 3 arias separated by bried recitative-like passages.
'Vater unser, der du bist im Hummel' is a setting of the Lord's Prayer by Christein Geist.
The next group is by 3 early members of the Bach family; Heinrich and his sons Johann Christoph and Johann Michael. The famous 'Lamento, Ach das ich Wassers gnug....' is ascribed to Johann Christoph, and the aria 'Auf Lasst uns den Herren Loben' with its elaborate violin writing, to Johann Michael.
The delightful Epiphany cantata 'O Jesu du mein leben' to J.P. Kreiger.
'Schlage doch doch,......'is finally attributed to J.S.Bach, but there is still some questions about that. Be that as it may, it is the most delightful selection on this disc. This has been recorded by many countertenors prior and since this recording.
In fact, there are several recordings that have appeared since this disc (1998) covering much the same music: 'Klaglied'(1999) featuring Michael Chance (my personal favorite)- 'De Aeternate' (2000) with Carlos Mena and Ricercar Consort- 'Lamento' with Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music (2001).
All are quality recordings, the enjoyment of which depends upon your personal preference when it comes to countertenors. All of them are different. Blaze has a light and somewhat bland sound, but pleasant. Mena is very deep and dark. Taylor is similar to Chance, that is the sound is warm and resonant, though Chance has the edge on interpretation from all of them. Take your pick.
The accompanying information includes a synopsis of the information and a complete text in German and English; the information only includes French."