Thursday, December 31, 2009

Schutz - Cantiones Sacrae - Cordes, Weser-Renaissance



Schutz - Cantiones Sacrae - Cordes, Weser-Renaissance
Vocal | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 2 CD, 370 MB
December 17, 1996 | CPO| RapidShare


The first ten bars of "O bone, o dulcis, o benigne Jesu" - the opening track on this amazing 2-CD performance - will startle most listeners out of any complacency they have about Baroque music being predictable.

To portray in harmonies the longing of "miserable man" for divine atonement, Heinrich Schuetz unleashes chord progressions and dissonances that out-shock Shostakovich and out-brazen Berio. Only the madrigals of Carl Gesualdo had ever previously employed such a harmonic fearlessness. If music is the language of the emotions, then Schuetz had an SAT 800 vocabulary, and he squandered all of it in these 40 Sacred Chansons for four solo voices SATB, with continuo added later on just four of them. Schuetz himself never again ventured into such harmonic neverlands, becoming a masterful conservative in his later compositions.

Forty four-part madrigals!?! Who could listen to 110 minutes of that without dropping off? Well, I did, for one. The kaleidoscope of tonalities, abrupt rhythmic changes, evocations of mood that last only seconds, like the facial music of a beautiful child of two and a half, all held my rapt attention through both disks, without even a coffee break.

I was reluctant to buy this ten-year-old performance with its rather murky-looking cover art. But my reluctance was misplaced; this is not a choral performance. It's a one-on-a-part rendition by technically superb singers of the highest rank: Bass Peter Kooij, tenor John Potter, soprano Mona Spaegele, and either tenor Rogers Covey-Crump or male alto Ralf Popken on various selections. The alto parts of these motet-madrigals have such extended ranges that it would be nearly impossible for the same singer to sing all of them, so Popken takes the pieces with the higher tessitura, and Covey-Crump the lower. Soprano Mona Spaegele achieves a miracle; she sings with the vibrato-free voce bianca of a gifted male soprano! That's a complimrnt in this case, since it enables her to blend seamlessly with the three male voices. I can't 'hear' the baton of Manfred Cordes anywhere in the music - another compliment, since this polyphony has to sound utterly free in rhythmic rhetoric - yet the ensemble is so close, so precise in articulations that I must believe either in telepathy or brilliant conducting.

The Cantiones Sacrae are unusual historically also - texts in Latin, composed by a devout Lutheran working for the most Protestant prince in Europe and dedicated to a mover-and-shaker in the Catholic Hapsburg court in Vienna. This was in 1625! in the very middle of the Thirty Years War.

Friends, I realize that I've waxed enthusiastic about several Schuetz performances in recent reviews, but this is a performance you've got to hear. There are several other CDs available of selections from the Cantiones Sacrae, but none of them approach this one in musicianship.


CD Content

Cd 1
O bone, o dulcis, o benigne Jesu
Et ne desicias humiliter te petentem
Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis
Quid commisisti, o dulcissime puer
Ego sum tui plaga doloris
Ego enim inique egi
Quo, nate Dei, quo tua descendit
Calicem salutaris accipiam
Verba mea auribus percipe, Domine
Quoniam ad te clamabo, Domine
Ego dormio, et cor meum vigilat
Vulnerasti cor meum vigilat
Heu mihi, Domine, quia peccavi nimis
n te, Domine, speravi
Dulcissime et benignissime Christe
Sicut Moses serpentem in deserto exaltavit
Spes mea, Christe Deus, hominum tu dulcis amator
Turbabor, sed non perturbabor
Ad Dominum cum tribularer calmavi
Quid detur tibi aut quid apponatur tibi

Cd 2
Aspice pater piissimum filium
Nonne hic est, mi Domine
Reduc, Domine Deus meus
Spereminet omnem scientiam
Pro hoc magno mysterio pietatis
Domine, non est exaltatum cor meum
Si non humiliter sentiebom
Speret Israel in Domino
Cantate Domino canticum novum
Inter brachia Salvatoris mei
Veni, rogo, in cor meum
Ecce advocatus meus apud te, Deum patrem
Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me
Quoniam non est in morte
Discedite a me omnes qui operamini
Oculi omnium in te sperant, Domine
Pater noster, qui es in coelis
Domine Deus, pater coelestis
Confitemini Domino, quoniam ipse bonus
Pater noster - Repetatur




3 comments:

  1. Hallo Otto! Danke schön für Deinen feinen Post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aber gerne geschehen und Danke das Du dir die Zeit genommen hast mir eine Nachricht zu hinterlassen :-)das macht nicht jeder...

    Ausserdem muss ich sagen das DEIN blog
    http://kammermusikkammer.blogspot.com/

    Spitzenklasse ist.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hallo Otto!
    Danke vielmals für Ihren werk, es ist prima !
    Aber when ich wolle um zu download dieses CD, das part nummer 4 ist fehlen...
    Könnten Sie bitte machen es funktionniert ? Danke !

    ReplyDelete

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