Not without reason......
Brian | Roskilde Denmark | 09/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At first, thanks to record label Simphonia and La Risonanza for giving the world an opportunity to hear this fine music by a neglected but very fine composer. Kerll's music is typical of the happy fusion in the southern German-Austrian-Bohemian area between German contrapuntal skill and Italian sense of drama and beautifull melodies.
Recorded here is the Missa non sine quare (whose title is explained in the informative booklet) from the 1689 collection, scored for four voices (S A T B), two violins and BC. Fabio Bonizzoni has added a cornet playing colla parte with the soprano; the result is stylistically reasonable and the unisone sound is at times very beautifull. The voices are sung one to a part, but the tutti sound is amazingly strong. The singing is, as is the recorded sound, throughout impeccable.
This concertato mass is full of memorable places, from operatic bass solos (Kerll did in fact write 11 operas, all of which, alas, are now lost) to strict counterpoint, cf. the "Amen" sections. Especially the Credo is a delight, with a serene "Et incarnatus" followed by a mournfull, dark-toned "Crucifixus". The seemingly religious optimism of Kerll (which I also noted in his 1689-requiem) is, however, displayed for example in certain places given musical emphasis like ("Cuius regni...)non erit finis", or, say, ("Pleni sunt coeli et terrae...)gloria tua" of the Sanctus. This is music that will make your day look more bright.
The mass is short and concise; on this recording we also find three italianate sacred concertos from the collection "Delectus sacrarum cantionum" (1669) and two sonatas for strings and BC (one of which had some very virtuosic Biber-like cello playing). This 53 minutes disc is given a worthy finish with the 5 voice (the 5th voice is given to the cornet) "Regina caeli laetare", which is a good example of Kerll's ability of writing festive, large scale music (may I suggest a performance of his mass written for the coronation of Leopold I as holy roman emperor in 1658?).
If you like the sacred music of Biber, Schmelzer or Rosenmuller, to mention some, this recording will please you.
If you wish to get to know baroque sacred music before Bach and Handel, this recording will make a fine introduction. The music of Kerll is easy accesible and beneficial to the soul as well as the intellect."
Brian | Roskilde Denmark | 09/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just a little addendum to my previous review:
Since I wrote this review, two other masses by Kerll have appeared on record, the "missa in fletu solatium" and the "missa superba", both of which are of a very high quality, comparable to the "missa non sine quare" reviewed above. Please note that the "missa superba" is to be found on a record with the title "Sacred music at the Munich court" (together with the motets "Gaudete pastores" and "Regina coeli laetare" also by Kerll and some psalms by Rupert Mayr). It is NOT possible (in contrast to the "in fletu solatium") to find that CD here at Amazon using the search term "Kerll", use instead "munich court" or something like that. The performers are Orpheus Chor Muenchen/ Gerd Guglhoer. Five stars to this recording as well!"