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  Founder: Len Mullenger

Meister der Renaissance
Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)

Psalmus 126 – Nisi Dominus from Vespro della Beata Vergine
Vokalensemble Frankfurt/Ill Basso/Rolf Otto
Ricercare; Sancta Maria from Vespro della Beata Vergine
Vokalensemble Frankfurt/Ill Basso/Rolf Otto
Psalm; Dixit Dominus from Vesper zum Fest Christi Himmelfahrt
Schütz-Akadamie/Howard Arman
Vorrei baciarti
Mieke van der Sluis (soprano) and Axel Köhler (counter-tenor)/Lautten Compagney
Ed è pur dunque vero
Mieke van der Sluis (soprano)/ Lautten Compagney
O bone Jesu
Mieke van der Sluis (soprano) and Axel Köhler (counter-tenor)/Lautten Compagney
Laudate Dominum
Mieke van der Sluis (soprano)/Lautten Compagney
Venite, venite
L’incoronazione di Poppea - Pur ti miro
Mieke van der Sluis (soprano) and Axel Köhler (counter-tenor)/Lautten Compagney
Gloria a 7 voci (Solva morale et spirituale, Venedig 1640/41)
Schütz-Akadamie/Howard Arman
Giovanni GABRIELI (1555-1612)

Symphoniae Sacrae I – canzon septimi toni
Hr Brass/Edward Tarr
Symphoniae Sacrae II – canzon VIII
Hr Brass/Edward Tarr
Symphoniae Sacrae I – canzon duodecimi toni
Hr Brass/Edward Tarr
Schütz-Akadamie/Howard Arman
Symphoniae Sacrae I – canzon
Hr Brass/Edward Tarr
Orlando Di LASSO (1532-1594)

Regensburger Domspatzen/Roland Büchner
Matona mia cara from Deutsche Lieder und Instrumentalstücke
Lautten Compagney
Nun grüss dich got (from Deutsche Lieder und Instrumentalstücke)
Mona Spägele/Wilfried Jochens/ Lautten Compagney
Der wein, der scmeckt mir also wol
Quand mom mary
Baur, was tregst im Sacke
Un jour vis un foulon (from Deutsche Lieder und Instrumentalstücke)
Mona Spägele/Wilfried Jochens/Bernhard Landauer/Thomas Herberich/Lautten Compagney
William BRADE (1560-1619)

Paduan XXIII
Galliard XXIII
Lautten Compagney
Comoedianten Tanz
Blechbläserensemble Ludwig Güttler
Galliard XIII
Lautten Compagney
Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672)

Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele (from Kleine Geistliche Konzerte Teil II SWV335)
Solisten des Tölzer Knabenchores/Ferhard Schmidt-Gaden
Stehe auf, meine Freundin SWV 499
Schütz-Akadamie/Howard Arman
Rorate coeli desuper SWV 322 (from Kleine Geistliche Konzerte Teil I No.17 SWV335)
Solisten des Tölzer Knabenchores/Ferhard Schmidt-Gaden
Psalmen Davids – Ich danke dem Herrn von ganzem Herzen
Schütz-Akadamie/Howard Arman
Giosefo GUAMI (c.1540-1611)

Canzon 25
Hr brass/Edward Tarr
Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (1525-1594)

Missa sine nominee; Kyrie
CantArte Regensburg/Hubert Velten
Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN (c.1595-1663)

Praeamblum in G WV 41
Ton Koopman (organ)
Michael PRAETORIUS (1571-1612)

Meine Seele erhebt den Herren (Puericinium, 1621)
Schütz-Akadamie/Howard Arman
Vincenzo GALILEI (c.1520-1591)

Contrapuncto primo
Lautten Compagney
Johann Hermann SCHEIN (1586-1630)

Fontana d’Israel/Israelis Brünlein (1623); No.20 – Drei schöne Dinge sind
Rheinische Kantorei/Hermann Max
O Domine Jesu Chrriste (from Cymbalum Sionum (1615))
Thomanerchor Leipzig/Hans-Joachim Rotzsch
Hans KOTTER (1485-1541)

Salve regina
Ton Koopman (organ)
John DOWLAND (1563-1626)

Wilt thou, unkind
Peter Schreier (tenor)/Konrad Ragossnig (lute)
Welcome Home
Monika and Jürgen (guitars)
Thomas SIMPSON (1582-1625)

Ballet; La mia Salome
Blechbläserensemble Ludwig Güttler
Johann STOBAEUS (1580-1646)

Französisches Liedlein
Lautten Compagney
Bartolomaeus PRAETORIUS (1580-1646)

Paduan XIII
Galliard XIV
Lautten Compagney
Alfonso FERRABOSCO (1572-1628)

Dovehouse Pavan
Blechbläserensemble Ludwig Güttler
William BYRD (1543-1623)

The Earle of Oxford’s March
Blechbläserensemble Ludwig Güttler
Johann ECCARD (1543-1611)

Ubers Gebrig Maria geht
Regensburger Domspatzen/Roland Büchner
Ludovico CASALI (1575-1647)

Gaudens gaudebo
Regensburger Domspatzen/Roland Büchner
Hans Leo HASSLER (1562-1612)

Echo Fantasie
Ton Koopman (organ)
Giovanni Maria NANINO (1544-1607)

Quinque Lamentationes – I Feria V in Coena Domini. Lectio prima
CantArte Regensburg/Hubert Velten
No recording dates, co-production with various German radio stations etc (Hessicher Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Deutschland Radio Berlin, DS Kultur, ZDF/DS Kultur, Sender Feies Berlin
CAPRICCIO 67 088/90 [3 CDs 67.46 + 60.21 + 71.35]

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This is the first time, and probably the last, that I’ve written a review shorter than the actual headnote. One look above however will indicate the rather miscellaneous and quixotic nature of this programme of three CDs, which ranges from fanfares, dances, and organ solos (Ton Koopman, the biggest name here apart from the single Dowland song taken by Peter Schreier) to Masses and Psalms. The focus, naturally, is Italian, with Northern European influences apparent and Germany solidly led by Schütz. Most of the pieces are extracts from longer works, of course – thus we get the Nisi Dominus from Monteverdi’s Vespers and one movement from Palestrina’s Missa sine nomine (the Kyrie) and so on. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a Greatest Hits collection (because the Englishman William Brade, however influential on the Continent, hardly features in those kind of compilations) but it bears all the marks of what it seems to be – mainly radio productions of Renaissance music compiled in a not very easily digestible box.

Let’s cut to the chase. Some of the studio acoustics are slightly clinical; Monteverdi and Gabrieli don’t really expand optimally in these circumstances but few of these performances are less than dedicated if none is really outstanding. hr brass – it’s lower case – is led by Edward Tarr and they do well by Gabrieli’s Symphoniae Sacrae; another recurrent feature is the lute ensemble Lautten Compagney who are good in Brade but perhaps even better in Vincenzo Galilei’s Contrapuncto primo, a mere two minutes of considerable worth. Koopman appears fleetingly but to good effect in Scheidemann. The Schütz Academy under Howard Arman is also a welcome visitor across the discs though the tenors can prove a mite fallible (in such as Monteverdi’s Psalm; Dixit Dominus for example). "Schreier sings Dowland" is not so unusual an idea – though he does sing it in German, which is. One of the highlights of the second disc is the playing of the Blechbläserensemble Ludwig Güttler in Thomas Simpson’s La mia Salome, a sliver from the ballet music but punchy, with fine lower brass and full of life. The Lautten Compagney (authentic spelling is ruinous for one’s spellchecker I find) hit a rich seam with the rocky-folksy Französisches Liedlein from the pen of the clearly remarkable Johann Stobaeus, about whom the notes are silent (he served the Dukes of Brandenburg in the 1620s). There’s only 1.51 of him here (it’s that kind of set) but enough to make me want to hear more – much more. The Lasso songs receive an intimate and expressive reading and we end the second disc with Mieke van der Sluis (soprano) and Axel Köhler (counter-tenor) with the Lautten Compagney in the final duet from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea – an attractively scaled soprano and counter-tenor with delightful lute support. Hr brass return in the final disc for more top class Gabrieli and the Schütz Akademie impress with the long Monteverdi Gloria a 7 voci – at twelve minutes or so it is, barring Michael Praetorius’ Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, the longest track in the set. Sluis and Köhler reprise the impression they made earlier with another tonally integrated performance in O bone Jesu.

The acoustics can, as I suggested earlier, incline toward the glacial on occasion but the target audience for a compilation of this sort will not be too alarmed by that. Obviously no specialists will find this of very much interest but there are texts in German and English and the original Italian or Latin, where relevant, and succinct not over-comprehensive notes as well. It’s the kind of anthology that includes Byrd’s The Earle of Oxford’s March but excludes any movements from his Masses – but one shouldn’t be too precious about it. It offers a panorama of sorts and that’s no bad thing.

Jonathan Woolf


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