One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger




Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







alternatively AmazonUK  

Johann Caspar Ferdinand FISCHER (1656-1746)
Musica sacra

Concertus de Santa Cruce (c.1701) [14:18]
Missa Sancti Dominici [17:53]
Lytaniae Lauretanae VI – Honori Visitationis B.V. Mariae (c.1711) [7:05]
Vesperae seu Palsmi Vespertini pro toto Anno (c.1701) [20:34]
IV Antiphonae pro toto Anno – Antiphona III Regina coeli laetare (c.1711) [3:58]
Rastatter Hofkapelle/Jürgen Ochs
rec. Hans Rosbaud Studio, Baden-Baden, October 2006. DDD 
CARUS 83.172 [64:36]

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Born in Bohemia in 1656 Fischer’s early musical educative experiences seem to have been lost. He was at the Piarist College in Schlackenwerth and clearly travelled. But our next substantive detail is that by 1690 he was court conductor at Sachsen-Lauenburg. The complexities of the marriages, regencies and instabilities of late seventeenth century nobility are briefly alluded to in the notes but what matters, as far as Fischer is concerned, is that the bulk of his printed compositions date from the years 1690-1715.
Life as the Kapellmeister of the Margrave of Baden entailed its usual quota of ecclesiastical commissions but he also wrote numerous works for harpsichord between 1696 and 1698. From the sound of them they appear to be based variously on French models or generic dance pieces called Blumen-Büschlein, or Musical Posies.
The sacred works presented by Carus are all heard in their first ever recordings. Concertus de Santa Cruce, provisionally dated to c.1701, is an offertory piece but has a celebratory, cantata-like feel. The soloists here, as elsewhere, are all drawn from the choir and they make for a most well-balanced and adroit ensemble, with a practised blend. By far the longest of the four movements is the O beatissima, which opens with a long tenor part. This is the heart of Fischer’s inspiration, as he rolls out pliant and slowly moving expressive lines – modest but highly effective.
Intended for Sunday services and for Advent the Missa Sancti Dominici is written for four solo singers (and ripieni) two violins and a basso continuo. The forces may be small but there’s no diminution in Fischer’s skill in handling what is essential conventional material. It’s the Sanctus that sees the greatest reserves of buoyancy and elation and the richest sound. He also wrote eight Litanies of which the sixth -Lytaniae Lauretanae VI – Honori Visitationis B.V. Mariae – was written for the Visitation of Mary, held on 2 July. Brief though it is – it lasts seven minutes – it’s distinguished by the celebratory use of trumpets, long associated with the symbolism of the Heir to the Throne. Another smaller scale work is the Antiphona III Regina coeli laetare, probably written in 1711 and once more crafted with skill and care.
Vesperae seu Palsmi Vespertini pro toto Anno is an especially engaging affair very well laid out for the forces involved – choir, soloists, strings and bass continuo. Of the six compact movements the one that most immediately impresses is the Laudate Dominum, which reveals Fischer’s flair in layering of attacks and his discretion in not making officious demands of his choral forces. They’re not without certain difficulties but not ones that could rank as unwelcome or unsympathetic.
The performers and direction are equally attractive; small in scale but not neglectful of pitch or tonal blend. The small accompanying group plays with convincing musicality. On this showing Fischer was a resourceful and attractive composer – no innovator but no stick-in-the-mud Kapellmeister either.
Jonathan Woolf

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.