Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hasse - Sanctus Petrus et Sancta Maria Magdalena - Blaise, Kordes, Geneaux, Wey, Hofstetter







The music of Johann Adolf Hasse (1699–1783), once sorely neglected, is now receiving renewed attention as part of the general revival of music from the transitional period between the High Baroque and Classical eras. He was perhaps the most celebrated proponent of Enlightenment-era values in music, which rejected alleged extravagances of the Baroque era and placed supreme emphasis upon structural symmetry and clarity of thematic and harmonic materials as expressions of rationality that supervened upon emotional expressiveness. Hasse became particularly Johann Adolf Hasse famous for his close working relationship with the famed poet Pietro Metastasio and eventually composed operas setting virtually all of the latter’s numerous libretti. The dramatic character of Hasse’s opera seria was carried over into his oratorios as well, such as the one presented here in its premiere recording. This is a live performance, but the audience is so completely silent until its applause at the conclusion that this might as well have been a studio recording. The recorded acoustic has richness and depth and is a bit on the bright side. Michael Hofstetter conducts with gusto, and the period-instrument players are top-notch. The chorus and the vocal soloists all perform competently.


flac, scans

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