Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gunther Leib, Gunther Lieb, Gothart Stier|
Heinrich Schütz: Auferstehung
Favorite composer, favorite ensemble, favorite Bible story
firstname.lastname@example.org | Houston,TX | 02/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Schreier sings the evangelist very well. Flamig captures the excitement of that Easter morning, and why we should rejoice over the risen Christ. That "Gott sei Dank" chorus at the end deserves a place with the great choruses of all time, especially with Schreier interjecting "Victoria". Flamig gives that chorus a good dose of power often lacking in some "authentic" versions. This shows Schutz as a German Lutheran who just happened to live in a particular time period. Buy it."
Schreier = 3 *, Ensemble = 1 *
Jonathan Fuller | Buffalo, NY United States | 01/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I placed this recording of Schutz's Resurrection History on my wish list last spring, and received it as a gift. Being less familiar with this piece as I am with other works of Schutz, I quickly bookmarked it, naively thinking it to be one of the only recordings of SWV 50. I have since found several others.
Peter Schreier presents an excellent narrating Evangelist, and the viol ensemble backing him is very tasteful and accompanies him well. I have issues with the rest of the ensemble, though. The previous reviewer is correct in the assertion that the massed voices utilized in the Introit and Conclusion lend more power to these sections than a historical performance might, but the ensemble suffers from intonation and pitch issues in both full choral sections. Take a listen to the sample audio of Track 1...it is noticeable that mainly the sopranos and tenors are often shaky on particulary the 3rds of each chord, and the top voices are guilty of a few 'slid-into' pitches (on the second instance of 'hung' in 'Auferstehung'). This disappointed me, since the Introit sets the tone for the rest of the piece to come, and these problems permeate throughout the entire opening. Within the corpus of the work, this same problem of out-of-tune leading tones continues, and is very noticeable especially in the duo 'Was Suchet...', among other places. In general, most of the expressively chromatic words and phrases uttered by Jesus and Mary Magdalene are executed fairly well.
This recording is mostly NOT historically informed, since it is performed by a modern ensemble; albeit the viols do a fine job with their implied ornamentation suggested by Schutz. Most all of the singers (except for Schreier) sing using wide and fluttering vibrato...it seems to generally be agreed upon that singers of the 16th and 17th centuries utilized a pure, unadultered tone except to emphasize certain expressive words or music. The two star rating is not for the lack of performance practice, since the ensemble doesn't claim to be historically informed. I don't know much about choral music, but it sounds as though the vibrato may actually be causing the unsureness of pitch in many instances.
Unfortunately, I have still not investigated other recordings of this work; I'm sure some of them would be of higher quality than this one. If you already own one of the others, you might pick this one up for its reasonable price and its inspired Evangelist. This recording has become almost unlistenable for me due to the rather uninspired and out-of-tune singers OTHER than Schreier.