One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Albert BECKER (1834-1899)
Lobet den Herrn op. 32,1 [2:43]
Ich hebe meine Augen auf op. 89,1 [3:14]
Gott, sei mir gnädig op. 83, 2 [5:30]
Du Hirte Israels höre! op. 89, 2 [5:56]
Hilf mir, Gott op. 68 [6:02]
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, op. 62 [10:04]
Kommt herzu! op. 82 [5:31]
Liturgische Gesänge für das Kirchenjahr op. 46 [25:53]
Nr. 1: Das Lamm, das erwürget ist
Nr. 2: Denn des Herrn Wort
Nr. 3: Sehet, welch eine Liebe
Nr. 4: Kommet her zu mir alle
Nr. 5: Machet die Tore weit
Nr. 6: Fürchtet euch nicht
Nr. 7: Herr, nun lässest du
Nr. 8: Siehe, der Hüter Israels
Nr. 9: Fürwahr, er trug unsre Krankheit
Nr. 10: Der Tod ist verschlungen
Berliner Domkantorei/Tobias Brommann
rec. May 2-4, and July 18-20 2008, Ehemaliges Ackerhaus der Abtei Marienmünster.
Experience Classicsonline

Albert Becker is probably not a name many of us will have heard a great deal about, which is not entirely surprising, as he spent most of his life making a living as a music teacher. He was born in Quedlinburg in 1834, and was active as a teacher and composer in Berlin during the second half of the nineteenth century. He became director of the Berlin Cathedral Choir in 1889, a post which had once been held by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and which was naturally steeped in a rich liturgical tradition. It was at this point that he was provided the opportunity to add his own voice to that of previous, frequently well-established Psalm settings. 
As a contemporary of Verdi, Bruckner, Liszt, and Brahms, Becker’s music is deeply rooted in romanticism, but with these liturgical works he constantly draws on baroque and classical models. His approach to text, for instance, is linked with J.S. Bach in terms of clarity, and in the relationship of certain types of text with dissonance and cadence. Many of the settings are fairly undemanding listening, despite the gorgeous richness of their 8-part depths. The Psalm 130 setting, Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, op. 62 is however a truly ambitious span of music, filled with angst-filled sin and resolving redemption.

The Liturgische Gesänge für das Kirchenjahr op. 46 are, as their title indicates, intended for use in the liturgy. As a result they are shorter works, often following the baroque chorale structure. While this often results in homophonic writing or block harmonies, there is some counterpoint, such as in the canonic Denn des Herrn, which can be compared in technique to Palestrina. Colourful word-description in the sighing diminished harmonies of the impressive Fürwahr, er trug unsre Krankheit are a litmus test of the kinds of things going on in this music. It seems bland at first, but the more you discover the better it gets.

The Berliner Domkantorei was founded after the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The choir came from singers of the former Church of the Reconciliation, whose place of worship became stranded in the no man’s land between East and West and ended up being demolished. Surviving its share of state repression prior to the fall of the wall, the choir was able to develop into an ambitious mixed ensemble which today performs primarily in
Berlin Cathedral. The choir has a warm and well disciplined sound, superbly articulated and well intonated, and without any straggly voices spoiling the texture. They don’t exhibit quite the exotic richness of expression in some more eastern choirs, and neither do they quite have the cool purity of your English choristers, but with their own character they fill Becker’s gently insistent idiom with the kind of integrity which rewards repeated listening.

MDG’s SACD recording is as ever very fine indeed, though a capella singing is never likely to be a first choice for Hi-Fi demonstrations. The SA mode helps with the spread of the voices in the not overly resonant acoustic used, but this is more of an ambient quality than one which will blow your socks off. Albert Becker’s choral work can be seen as something of a musical cul-de-sac, as part of Berlin’s history which has worthy significance but little impact on the world stage. This may or may not be the case, but the tradition represented by Becker is one which has continued and is alive and well in church music of the present day. Maria Weisse in her booklet note makes a plea for Becker’s “stylistic diversity that should be honoured by the reincorporation of his songs into public music culture.” This is something behind which I can stand wholeheartedly. Becker’s musical language is expressive but unsentimental, and as a result has a function in our time and all times, both humanist and devotional.

Dominy Clements



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review 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.