£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again


 
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
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet

Václav Gunther JACOB (1685 - 1734)
Dixit Dominus [14:48]
Valentin RATHGEBER (1682-1750)
Concerto in F, op. 19,3 [03:43]
Václav Gunther JACOB
Missa Dei Filii: Kyrie [06:10]; Gloria [12:16]; [Graduale]
Valentin RATHGEBER
Concerto for violin, strings and bc in D, op. 6,6 [05:18]
Václav Gunther JACOB
Missa Dei Filii: Credo [09:01]
[Offertorium]
Laetetur omne saeculum (Offertorium de Sancto Adalberto) [07:32]
Missa Dei Filii:
Sanctus [07:29]
Agnus Dei [03:55]
Valentin RATHGEBER
Concerto in C, op. 19,1 [04:17]
Václav Gunther JACOB
Vezirius Turcicus (arr. Robert Hugo) [04:42]
Capella Regia Praha/Robert Hugo
rec. 29 October - 1 November 2008, 1 - 2 February 2009, Theresian Hall, Břevnov Monastery, Prague, Czech Republic. DDD
SUPRAPHON SU3971-2 [79:32]

Experience Classicsonline

This disc belongs to Suprahon’s "Music from eighteenth-century Prague" series. The repertoire, performed in Prague during the first half of the eighteenth century, is largely unknown. I doubt that many music-lovers will have heard of Václav Gunter Jacob. As so often there is a strong discrepancy between his fame in his own time and his obscurity today.

Jacob was born in the village Krajková, then a mining town called Gossengrün, near Sokolov. In his childhood he sang as a treble at the Kladruby Monastery and later as an alto at the Benedictine Monastery by the St Nicholas Church on Old Town Square in Prague. At an early age he showed interest in becoming a composer, writing his first mass when he was 16 years old. It was full of errors, as he had never received any composition lessons, but he continued to compose religious pieces which so much impressed the monastery's abbot that he promised to support his future education in music. For a while he studied law but soon turned to music completely.

He entered the monastery he had left and was ordained a priest in 1714. Because of gout and the plague - from which he recovered - he had to struggle with poor health all his life. That didn't prevent him from further developing his skills as a composer. His first collection of music was printed in 1714 and brought him some fame, also outside his homeland. In 1725 a collection of sacred music was published in Nuremberg. Copies of Jacob's printed music have been found in several places in Europe, among others in Munich and Bologna. The dissemination of his music led to commissions from Poland, Bavaria and Hungary. Although his formal education was limited he not only became famous as a composer but was also active as a teacher. One of his pupils was Frantisek (or Franz) Benda.

The disc begins with a setting of Psalm 109 (110), Dixit Dominus. It is taken from Jacob's first collection of music of 1714, and considering the year of printing the prominent role of the two horns is remarkable. They are used to great effect in the third section, 'Virgam virtutis' and in the seventh, 'Judicabit'. Here the words "dominare" (rule) and "conquassabit" (crush) are especially singled out. There are other eloquent illustrations of the text as well. The Psalm ends with a fugal 'Amen'.

The main work on this disc is the Missa Dei Filii. It contains only the Ordinary: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. But in this recording two parts of the Propers have been added. As Graduale we hear a violin concerto by Valentin Rathgeber and as Offertory a piece that Jacob wrote for the feast of St Adalbert, one of the Czech patron saints.

The Kyrie is in three sections. The first Kyrie begins with a dialogue between the high and the low voices of the tutti, then between the soprano and alto soloists and the strings. The end of this section is set for the tutti, with a dissonant on "eleison". The Christe eleison is a beautiful solo for soprano with strings and basso continuo. The concluding Kyrie is a fugal movement.

In the Gloria the 'Laudamus te' is a duet for soprano and alto, followed by a tutti section on "Gratias". 'Domine Deus' is a solo for the tenor in which the bass of the instrumental ensemble is given much weight. 'Qui tollis' begins as a solo for the bass, who is then joined by the three other solo voices and then by the tutti. The word "miserere" is emphasized through harmony. 'Quoniam' is a duet for soprano and bass; the former has a steep ascending figure on "Jesu". The 'Credo' is characterised by ascending and descending figures on words like "descendit de coelis", "crucifixus" and "passus". The bass solo in the 'Crucifixus' section is particularly expressive.

The bass also sings the Benedictus, whereas the Sanctus is set for the tutti. Notable is the Hosanna: it is largely fugal and begins with three solo voices (soprano, alto, tenor), first with only basso continuo. They are then joined by the strings, and then the tutti come in. It is one of the most expressive parts of this Mass.

The same kind of evolution takes place in the Agnus Dei: the first Agnus is a solo for soprano, the second is a tenor solo, the third is then set for the tutti after which a fugal 'Dona nobis pacem' closes the Mass.

In the Offertory the strings are joined by the two horns again. It starts with a vivacious instrumental introduction, followed by a section for the tutti. Next follows a beautiful aria for soprano with an obbligato part for the oboe. The piece ends with a fugue.

This disc also contains three instrumental pieces by Valentin Rathgeber. He was a German composer who has mainly become known because of his 'Tafel-Confect', a series of three collections with popular songs, but he also was very influential as a composer of religious music; a genre especially popular in southern Germany. The two concertos from his opus 19 are rather short, but delightful and well-written. The violin concerto is also pretty short, but the part of the solo violin - only in the two fast movements - isn't without substance. The three pieces are very well played by the instrumentalists of the Capella Regia Praha and Daniel Deuter gives a good account of the solo violin part. The horn players should be particularly complimented as they give brilliant performances. And it is very nice that they are so clearly audible as the horn parts are essential in expressing key elements in the text.

This is only an indication of the general level of the performances on this disc. I think this ensemble is probably the best ensemble in the Czech early music scene. I have heard other recordings under Robert Hugo's direction before, and these were all excellent. This disc is no exception.

The vocal ensemble consists of twelve singers who also take the solo parts. The blending of the voices as well as the balance between the vocal groups is very good and there is also a great transparency of the sound of the ensemble. The solo parts are all given splendid performances, and it is just a joy to hear these people sing with so much commitment and technical assurance.

And it is all for a worthy cause. I was really struck by the beauty of Jacob's music and I am very curious to hear more. This disc fully deserves to be nominated 'Recording of the Month' as both music and interpretation are of a very high standard.

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.