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Ruth Ziesak (soprano)
Sacred Arias
Christian GHEIST (c.1640-1711)

Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel
Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707)

Sonata in B flat major Op.1 No.4
Samuel EBART (1655-1684)

Miserere, Christe, mei
Johann VIERDANK (c.1605-1646)

Passemezzo e la sua Gagliarda
Franz TUNDER (1614-1667)

Ach Herr, lass deine lieben Engelein
Johann Adam REINCKEN (1623-1722)

Suite No.6 in A major
Christoph BERNHARD (1628-1692)

Aus der Tiefe rufe ich zu dir
Thomas BALTZAR (c.1630/31-1663)

Airs for solo violin
Ruth Ziesak (soprano)
Berliner Barock-Compagney
Recorded at the Andreaskirche, Berlin, November 2003
CAPRICCIO 67 125 [71.33]

Ruth Ziesak continues her excellent series of recordings with one that, once more, shows off her strengths in baroque works; here, specifically, German cantatas. Nearly all the composers were active in the North of the country or in the areas bordering the Baltic Sea; several travelled - Baltzar made a famous splash in London, astounding most listeners with his violin virtuosity - though none were court composers with the partial exception of Baltzar who became a member of Charles IIís band.

Much here is influenced by prevailing Italianate currents and orthodoxies. Geistís very attractive Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel for example has a cantus firmus that adds gravity and the grandeur of inevitability though the vocal line is very Italian in its flourish and declamation. Interspersed we have Buxtehudeís Sonata in B flat major, a lively, strongly etched work that offers contrapuntal drive and a more relaxed lyricism as well. Reinckenís Suite is a most attractive sonata di chiesa. Ebartís Miserere, Christe, mei is multi-sectional, attractively scaled and has a real purity about it Ė but also powers in projection, not least in the concluding Amen. Tunderís Ach Herr, lass deine lieben Engelein exemplifies this sense of lyricism and alternating gravity, one that pervades the disc, and one realised so well by Ziesak. And Bernhardís Aus der Tiefe rufe ich zu dir shows the influence of Monteverdi in its melismas and fluid vocal virtuosity. Baltzar is rightly represented by a solo violin work, his Airs (the title given by Capriccio Ė isnít this one of the pieces grouped together in The Division Violin and published by Playford after the composerís death?) Those expecting proto-Paganinian or at least Biber-esque fireworks should be warned that this is a much more temperate work Ė expressive, melancholy and technically eloquent. Iím assuming itís played here by Georg Kallweit of the excellent Berliner Barock-Compagney. We started with Geist, a noble representative of the North German school and we end with his Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, a splendidly conceived work over a cantus firmus, something of a feature of these works.

The booklet has translations into English and French and some biographical details. Recorded sound is clear.

Jonathan Woolf


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