Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Christoph GRAUPNER (1683 - 1760)
Christmas Cantatas
Frohlocke, werte Christenheit [14:15]
Der Herr hat mich gehabt im Anfang [13:30]
Das Licht des Lebens scheinet hell [16:57]
Das Licht scheinet in der Finsternis [14:48]
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen [15:04]
Veronika Winter (soprano), Franz Vitzthum (alto), Jan Kobow (tenor), Markus Flaig (bass)
Das Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max
rec. 27-29 January 2010, Cologne, Chamber music auditorium of Deutschlandfunk.
CPO 777 572-2 [73:44]

Experience Classicsonline



 

 
One of the most remarkable things about German composers of the 17th and 18th centuries is the size of their oeuvre. One wonders where they found the time to compose so many works, considering the general slowness of life. It took days to travel from one part of Germany to another, and weeks to go from Germany abroad. Writing a composition by hand, copying parts for all performers, teaching, rehearsing - it is just amazing how much work they had to do. And in addition, there was an insatiable demand for music which they had to satisfy. This is also the main reason they composed so much.
 
Take Christoph Graupner: the number of his cantatas is estimated at about 1400! He had to deliver a cantata for every Sunday, plus all feastdays, plus special events like the birthday of his employer. And then there was the instrumental music, both chamber and orchestral music, which was played as entertainment. Reusing old material was no option: music which was more than 10 years old was considered old-fashioned. As Graupner worked in Darmstadt from 1709 until his death there was no material his employer hadn't heard before.
 
But by good fortune he had some assistance. From 1713 to 1738 the cantatas for the first and third Christmas days - one of the busiest periods of the year - were written by his assistant chapel master, Gottfried Grünewald. The second Christmas day was also the birthday of his employer, so the music for that day, which had to be particularly festive, was written by Graupner himself. He also composed the music for New Year, and the following Sundays, including Epiphany and Candlemas.
 
Four of the five cantatas on this disc date from the 1740s. Graupner used texts which were provided by his brother-in-law, the theologian Johann Conrad Lichtenberg, who for a number of years wrote a cycle of cantata texts every year. The cantatas consist of a sequence of recitatives, arias and chorales, but the texture varies.
 
Frohlocke, werte Christenheit, begins with a chorus on a free poetic text. This is followed by two pairs of recitative and aria, for bass and soprano respectively, and closes with a harmonisation of two stanzas from the old hymn 'Ein Kind geborn zu Bethlehem'. The vocal parts are embedded in lively orchestral figurations which is typical of Graupner's treatment of chorales. This practice has its roots in the 17th century, and was often used by composers like Johann Kuhnau and Johann Ludwig Bach.
 
Der Herr hat mich gehabt im Anfang and Das Licht scheinet in der Finsternis both begin with a dictum, a quotation from the Bible. The former has a recitative for bass and a duet for alto and tenor, who mostly sing in parallel motion, which is only broken at the end. The duet is followed by a recitative and an aria for tenor, and closes with a stanza from Luther's hymn 'Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ'.
 
The latter also contains a duet, this time for tenor and bass. There is a strong contrast in the vocal and instrumental parts between section A and section B, reflecting the juxtaposition of light and darkness in the text. The preceding recitative for bass is a perfect example of Graupner's effective treatment of the text.
 
Das Licht des Lebens scheinet hell opens with an accompanied recitative for bass, who then sings an aria. This is followed by a chorale - a stanza from 'Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist'. Then the soprano sings a recitative and an aria, and the alto has a recitative which ends in an accompagnato at the last line. The cantata ends with another stanza from 'Ermuntre dich'.
 
The last cantata of this disc, Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, is the only one which dates from the period that Grünewald was active. It was written for the second Sunday after Epiphany, 18 January 1728. But during the winter season 1727/28 Grünewald was ill. Because of that he wasn't able to compose, and Graupner had to write all cantatas himself. As Grünewald also participated in the performances as a bass, Graupner omitted bass parts in his cantatas. This shows that at that time cantatas were performed with one voice per part, which is also practised in this recording. This particular cantata is the only one from this period that has a bass part. One may conclude that Graupner temporarily had a bass at his disposal, but probably a not very experienced one as he only participates in the three chorale settings.
 
These are three stanzas from the hymn 'Von Gott will ich nicht lassen' (1563). The cantata opens with the first stanza, which is followed by a recitative for the tenor, who then sings a duet with the alto which is an eloquent expression of the text: "Jesus provides. Now away, you cares!" This is followed by another stanza from the hymn. Next are a recitative and an aria for soprano. In the latter she is accompanied by a trio of two oboes and bassoon which are joined by the strings in the ritornelli. The cantata closes with another stanza from the hymn 'Von Gott will ich nicht lassen'.
 
During his career Graupner has developed a musical language of his own, which is not comparable with anything written in his time. His compositions are certainly not easy-listening stuff as recent recordings of his instrumental oeuvre show. Of his vocal music very little has been performed and recorded as yet. There is hardly a better way to get to know his vocal oeuvre than with this disc.
 
These five cantatas are varied in scoring and offer a number of beautiful arias and duets. It is particularly advisable to pay attention to the way Graupner uses the instruments to express the Affekte of the texts. Things could hardly be better. The four soloists are completely congenial and their voices blend perfectly, as the chorale settings show. The individual performances of the singers are also excellent; the delivery is immaculate thanks to good diction and pronunciation. The instrumental parts are engagingly given by the members of Das Kleine Konzert.
 
The booklet contains extensive programme notes and all the lyrics have an English translation. In various tracks the lines are printed in the wrong order.
 
Johan van Veen
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

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






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.