MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
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

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

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

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Jauchzet dem Herren - The Psalms of David in the 17th Century in North Germany
Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707)
Dixit Dominus Domino meo (BuxWV 17) [8:35]
Samuel SCHEIDT (1587-1654)
Canzon Cornetto [3:17]
Johann Philipp FÖRTSCH (1652-1732)
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich Herr zu dir [7:31]
Julius Johann WEILAND (c.1605-1663)
Jauchzet Gott alle Lande [3:33]
Matthias WECKMANN (1616-1674)
Sonata a 4 [5:57]
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin & Klaglied (BuxWV 76) [8:46]
Nicolaus BRUHNS (1665-1697)
Prelude and fugue in e minor [5:10]
Christoph BERNHARD (1628-1692)
Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir [6:09]
Johann SOMMER (c.1570-1627)
O höchster Gott [3:05]
Canzon a 4 [4:21]
Nicolaus BRUHNS
Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt [11:42]
Hans Jörg Mammel (tenor)
La Fenice/Jean Tubéry
rec. August 2009, St. Marienkirche in Mariendrebber, Germany. DDD
Texts and translations included
ALPHA 179 [68:22]

Experience Classicsonline

In the 17th and early 18th centuries northern Germany was one of the most prosperous parts of the country. In particular the Hanseatic cities were centres of economic activity which in turn resulted in admirable artistic standards. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) heavily affected every part of society, but when the war came to an end with the Peace of Westfalia the recovery was remarkably quick.

Cities in the north of Germany were able to attract eminent musicians and composers, and both sacred and secular music flourished. This disc sheds light on the music written for the liturgy, with concertos and cantatas for solo voice and instruments. In addition a couple of instrumental pieces are played which reflect the high skills of the collegia musica in the various cities and their ensembles of Stadtpfeifer. The only organ piece bears witness to the exalted standard of organ playing and explains why organists were held in such great esteem.

The organ played a key role in the liturgy. It was used for solo pieces, but also to accompany congregational singing. Moreover, it played the basso continuo in sacred concertos and cantatas. Recently performers have tried to restore this practice as an alternative to the common use of positive organs. The main problem is finding an organ with the right disposition, pitch and temperament as well as enough space in the organ loft to position all the participants. Apparently Jean Tubéry, the director of La Fenice, has found such an organ. In his liner-notes Hans Jörg Mammel gives concise information about the history of the organ, but unfortunately there is no mention of pitch and temperament nor any list of the stops. I am a little disappointed that this organ has or is given surprisingly little presence in comparison with other recent recordings in which large instruments play the basso continuo.

It is also rather surprising that the acoustic is so dry. If one didn’t know where this recording had been made one would think that the space was quite small and intimate. Apparently the miking was very close. I also wonder whether measures were taken in order to keep the reverberation in check. If that is the case they have gone too far: this music needs more space than it gets here.

The programme is a mixture of hardly known compositions and pieces which have been recorded before. Nicolaus Bruhns is one of the famous masters of the North-German organ school. His organ works have been recorded complete several times, and never fail to make an impression. He was a great virtuoso, and his Prelude and fugue in e minor is a specimen of the stylus phantasticus which is the main feature of the school. It consists of a sequence of contrasting sections; some of them could have been played a bit faster. Unfortunately only a small number of organ works by Bruhns are known. He also composed vocal music, and although this part of his oeuvre is also not very large his contributions to the genre of the sacred concerto for voice(s) and instruments are substantial. Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt is a brilliant piece which shows the influence of the Italian concertante style which was enthusiastically embraced by most composers from this region.

In fact, North Germany in the 17th century had its own version of the 'mixed taste'. This term was used in the 18th century for the mixture of the Italian and French styles. In this case it could be used to describe the mixture of German, Italian, English and Dutch influences. The Dutch influence was mainly audible in the organ works: many German keyboard players went - or were sent by their employers - to Amsterdam to study with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Through him they became acquainted with the music of the English virginalists which had influenced him. But there was also a more direct influence of English music, especially consort music. In particular William Brade (1560-1630) was responsible for that as he had lived in North Germany since the 1590s. This was mixed with the more virtuosic style of the Italian violinist Carlo Farina, who worked in Dresden from 1625. These influences come together in, for instance, the brilliant Sonata a 4 by Matthias Weckmann. The Italian style is predominant in the Canzon by Johann Sommer in which the two cornetts and the two violins are in dialogue and imitate each other's motifs. The two pairs of instruments are juxtaposed very much in the style of the Venetian cori spezzati.

Johann Sommer is one of the little-known masters of this programme. He was an organist and cornettist, and died in Bremen. He worked in this city as well as at the court of Gottorf in what is now known as Schleswig-Holstein. His playing of the cornett explains the scoring of the Canzon. Two cornetts are also playing in the concerto O höchster Gott, which is an arrangement of the rhymed version of Psalm 8 by Ambrosius Lobwasser, who translated the Genevan Psalter in German and used the Genevan melodies.

The other unknown here is Julius Johann Weiland. He worked mainly at the court of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel, east of Hanover. All of his surviving music is sacred, and shows a clear influence of Heinrich Schütz. Jauchzet Gott, alle Lande is a sacred concerto for voice, four instruments and bc. More modest in its scoring is a setting of Psalm 130 (De profundis), here on a German text, Aus der Tiefe rufe ich Herr zu dir by Johann Philipp Förtsch. It is for solo voice, violin, viola da gamba and bc. Förtsch was not from North Germany, but had worked there since the 1670s. He played a major role in the Hamburg opera. This sacred concerto concentrates on an accurate expression of the text.

In another recording this piece is performed by a soprano (review). That doesn't necessarily exclude a performance by a tenor; it depends on the composer’s indications. In this case I don't know, but at least Buxtehude's cantatas aren't scored only for a high or low voice, but specifically for a type of voice. From that perspective the performance of the two pieces by Buxtehude on this disc by a tenor is questionable.

The lamento Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin was written for the funeral of Meno Hanneken, the Lübeck superintendent, in 1671. Buxtehude performed it again, together with a Klaglied on a text of his own, in 1674 at the funeral of his father Johannes. It is a moving piece beginning with a simple chorale which is then elaborated in three parts, and can be played either at the organ or - as here - with instruments (cornett, two violins). In Buxtehude's poem the strings weave a web around the voice which sings the simple melody. It is a shame that only three of the seven stanzas are performed; this is not flagged up in the booklet.

Hans Jörg Mammel is one of the best interpreters of this kind of repertoire. He has made a career in which German music plays a key role. A complete command of the German language and a thorough knowledge of the character of German sacred music are essential to explore the close connection between text and music. That is exactly what makes this disc such a great achievement. It is a compelling portrait of the rich musical culture of North Germany in the 17th century. The high level of instrumental playing is well reflected by the performances of La Fenice. Anyone who is interested in this repertoire should add this disc to his collection. The inclusion of several hardly-known pieces makes it even more worthwhile. The liner-notes - in French and English - are well-written, but it is a serious omission that no information is given about the two unknown composers, Sommer and Weiland. The lyrics contain some errors and the translations could have been more precise.

Johan van Veen






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

Past 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

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.