Search - Nicolaus Bruhns, Christoph Graupner, Johann Kuhnau :: German Cantatas Before Bach / Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale

German Cantatas Before Bach / Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale
Nicolaus Bruhns, Christoph Graupner, Johann Kuhnau
German Cantatas Before Bach / Herreweghe, Collegium Vocale
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (36) - Disc #1

One happy byproduct of the Bach 2000 celebrations has been the examination of Bach's musical roots in 17th-century Germany and the rediscovery of talented composers from the generations between Heinrich Schütz and J.S. ...  more »

      
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One happy byproduct of the Bach 2000 celebrations has been the examination of Bach's musical roots in 17th-century Germany and the rediscovery of talented composers from the generations between Heinrich Schütz and J.S. Bach. Philippe Herreweghe is one of the most respected Bach conductors in the world; this release is his contribution to that musical reexamination. The six brief cantatas on this disc are relatively small-scaled--all are for singers with a small ensemble of strings--and they tend toward the contemplative rather than the extroverted. Even Franz Tunder's cantata on Luther's famous chorale "Ein feste Burg" ("A mighty fortress is our God") seems fairly serene, without the triumphal aspect that Bach gave the tune in his Cantata BWV 80. These works sound rather more like Schütz (a rhetorical, almost madrigalesque style) than Bach (dense counterpoint)--although Gott, sei mir gnädig by Johann Kuhnau (Bach's predecessor in Leipzig) closes with a fugal chorus that could almost pass for Handel. Herreweghe's musicians perform as admirably as always; however, the Schütz-like text-centered quality in the music seems to suit a solo-voice consort better than 14-voice choir Herreweghe uses here. Indeed, in the latest of these cantatas, Christoph Graupner's Herr, die Wasserströme (full of storm imagery), it seems Herreweghe is holding back a bit--he can't let his choir rip the way an ensemble of soloists such as Cantus Cölln could. It's a bit ironic, really, in that the six soloists are all marvelous: while this is a very good recording, it could have been much better had Herreweghe saved the money he paid his choristers. --Matthew Westphal
 

CD Reviews

Complete emotional connection
John Squillace | Denville, NJ USA | 12/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Profoundly beautiful, deeply spiritual music, movingly sung and gorgeously played, with excellent sonics to boot. I defy you not to cry while listening! Very highly recommended."