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Beethoven: Christus am Ölberge, Op. 85
Ludwig van Beethoven, Christoph Spering, New Berlin Chamber Orchestra
Beethoven: Christus am Ílberge, Op. 85
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

Beethoven composed his one and only oratorio Christus am Ílberge (Christ on the Mount of Olives) at the age of 33. A year earlier, in despair at his growing deafness, he had written the morbid Heiligenstadt Testament, i...  more »

     
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Beethoven composed his one and only oratorio Christus am Ölberge (Christ on the Mount of Olives) at the age of 33. A year earlier, in despair at his growing deafness, he had written the morbid Heiligenstadt Testament, in which he announces himself ready for death whenever it should come. This is largely the story of the oratorio: Jesus, agonizing over his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane (on the Mount of Olives), submits himself to God's will. Soldiers arrive. Christ goes quietly. The oratorio features three soloists (Christ, an Angel, and Peter) and choruses of angels, soldiers, and disciples. The unbiblical German text is by Franz Xaver Huber. Tenor Steve Davislim's Christ is rather colorless--he does not appear to have been sweating all night. Soprano Simone Kermes's Angel sounds fragile but soars effortlessly to a top E in the tuneful aria "Preist des Erloesers Guete." Bass Eike Wilm Schulte's Peter is rudely gruff in his readiness to take on the soldiers on Jesus' behalf. Christoph Spering Christoph Spering conducts Das Neue Orchester with some snap, and the Chorus Musicus drives through its two fugues with evident enthusiasm. In the alla marcia, the soldiers' chorus has faintly comic charm, not unlike Gilbert and Sullivan's police in the Pirates of Penzance. --Rick Jones
 

CD Reviews

Excellent period recording
Matthew | New York | 07/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Up until I purchased this CD I had never heard of Christoph Spering. He is now on my list of favored conductors, especially because of the fact that he controls an excellent period orchestra. Christ on the Mount of Olives is a rare work to come buy and I was excited when I found one. I jumped for joy after seeing that the oratorio was performed on period instruments. The singers are excellent and express the music the way I love it and Spering has excellent interpretation of Beethoven. This is an excellent recording to buy if you really want to appreciate the genius of Beethoven's oratorio."