Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



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
Sound Samples & Downloads

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c1637-1707)
Membra Jesu Nostri BuxWV 75 (1680) [53:09]
Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt BuxWV 76 (1671) [12:02]
La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken
rec. 10-12 November 2010, Begijnhofkerk, Sint Truiden, Belgium
ACCENT ACC24243 [65:11]

Experience Classicsonline


 
Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri consists of seven cantatas, each a meditation on the wounds of Christ on the Cross. There are detailed historical notes and some analysis of the music in Joachim Steinheuer’s booklet notes, but to sum up, here is music often of the utmost tenderness in simplicity both of instrumentation and musical content. This is at once both its strength and its difficulty in performance, with the risk of things sounding rather samey by the time you reach the end.
 
There are a few more than decent recordings of this music around. I have a good deal of time for Masaaki Suzuki’s recording on BIS, which brings out plenty of drama and contrast with a feeling of large scale, using a full chorus and soloists to bring out the best of all that depth and restraint. There is also a Chandos recording with Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance et al which is a useful reference (see review), though one which depends rather on your liking the character of these particular soloists.
 
This Accent version led by Sigiswald Kuijken comes across as quite a different animal to both of these examples. Fans of the label will know a little of the clean sense of transparency they can expect from the recording, and the lighter, arguably thinner texture from the strings of La Petite Bande is apparent from the outset. With one voice to a part choruses we lack the sense of heft and contrast from Suzuki’s BIC performance, but gain in intimacy as a result. The singers are generally good, though Anne-Katrin Schenk’s Soprano I is one with a mildly helium-powered colouration – strongest in stratospheric heights. Gunther Vandeven’s high male alto is a good deal more neutral than Michael Chance; once again a question of taste. Tenor Jens Weber is very fine, but even he is pushed to his limits in Buxtehude’s extreme highs in track 20, Pectus mihi confer mundum.
 
This is a performance with many beautiful moments. The Quid sunt plagae and its preceding Sonata of III. Ad manus is sublime. There is a delicious way Kuijken obtains expression and intensity even with this minimum of resources and a distinct lack of ornamentation, though not an entire lack of vibrato, which can make all the difference at certain points. This is however a performance which gives a cooler and more introverted impression in comparison to the other examples. Not to say there are not lively moments: the Sicut modo geniti which opens V. Ad pectus has plenty of rhythmic verve. There is no feel of dragging or artificially mannered laying on of expression with the figurative trowel.
 
If you like your Buxtehude without too much extra character or unique personality then this will be the one for you. I don’t mean this as a backhanded criticism, more to point out that there are few elements here which will prevent you wanting to come back for repeat listening. It doesn’t generate much excitement, but this is in the nature of the music. La Petite Band is very good throughout, but there is a strange moment at the end of track 6, the Sonata in tremulo. This is taken more slowly than many versions - an interesting rather than a disappointing feature, but there is a moment at the end where the bass steadfastly refuses to follow the ritenuto of the upper strings and ends up having to skip in an extra note to keep together in the final chords.
 
The filler is a very fine five part funerary lamentation, Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt, which couples very well with the cantatas which precede it. These are pieces with exquisitely wrought counterpoint, and some wonderfully scrunchy dissonant chromatic clashes to highlight significant words and create an atmosphere of potent and moving grief. The final Klag-Lied is a masterpiece, and with some spine-tingling high notes from the soprano would fit well as part of a Peter Greenaway film soundtrack.
 
In all I would count this as a successful release, though perhaps not quite a definitive Membra Jesu Nostri. This is however a space in which you will always be able to lose yourself in a world of richly expressive ecclesiastical mourning and emerge, sadder and wiser, making the playful sunlight of your day that much brighter and attractive.
 
Dominy Clements
 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


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.