SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

HEINRICH SCHUTZ: Musikalische Exequien; Das ist je gewisslich; Gesang der drei Männer im feurigen Ofen; Das Wort ward Fleisch; Canticum Simeonis; Canticum Sineonis; Works of SCHEIN & HAKE – MD&G

MD&G releases another disc dedicated to Schutz, this time a little more subdued in nature.

Published on April 19, 2013

HEINRICH SCHUTZ: Musikalische Exequien; Das ist je gewisslich; Gesang der drei Männer im feurigen Ofen; Das Wort ward Fleisch; Canticum Simeonis; Canticum Sineonis; Works of SCHEIN & HAKE – MD&G

HEINRICH SCHUTZ: Musikalische Exequien; Das ist je gewisslich, SWV 388; Gesang der drei Männer im feurigen Ofen, SWV 448; Das Wort ward Fleisch, SWV 385; Canticum Simeonis, SWV 432; Canticum Sineonis, SWV 433; JOHANN SCHEIN: Suite No. 10 from Banchetto Musicale; HANS HAKE: Pavane  – Stuttgart Hymnus Boys’ Choir/ Musica Fiata/ Roland Wilson – MD&G multichannel SACD (2+2+2) 902 1784-6, 62:22 [Distr. by E1] ***1/2:

This album of motets plus the Musical Exequies brings to the front the genius of the head of music in the Electoral Court of Saxony in Dresden, Venice and Gabrieli-trained Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672). As his position indicated, he left the common everyday needs of court music to his underlings while he concentrated on music for special occasions. Most of the music here was composed for funerary occasions, and as such is minus the rather rambunctious vocal gestations found in some of the composer’s more exuberant works. Nonetheless, with Schutz, who almost never wrote plain instrumental music, the designation “concerto” often found its way into his work, and his instrumental writing in the context of is vocal religious music is quite substantial and quite involved. This is a man who, after Gabrieli, was the number one proponent of spatial style music in Europe, and he knew how to take advantage of instrumental vocal combinations to great effect.

The slighter instrumental pieces by Hake and Schein make for a nice foil to this otherwise all vocal collection, both composers coming from environments where dance music was more permitted—in Dresden it was rare—and they are good examples of the genre during the early sixteenth century. Overall I am quite impressed with the forces on this recording, though there are some spots of instrumental inexactitude and some vocal mis-tunings, though most pass quickly and are rapidly corrected. The surround sound is quite vivid and bold throughout. As usual with MD&G though, no English translations.

—Steven Ritter




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