One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from
 

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707)
Membra Jesu Nostri (BuxWV 75) [59:09]
Vox Scaniensis/Peter Wallin
rec. 1-4 May 2013, Eslöv Church
LAWO LWM010 [59:09]

Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri Patientis Sanctissima is subtitled “a cycle of cantatas on the Holy limbs of the suffering Jesus Christ” in this booklet, which further informs us that the texts are ascribed to Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1090-1153). “The text forms an account of the crucified limbs of Christ (feet, knees, hands, side, chest, heart and face) and its sensitive style relates strongly to sixteenth and seventeenth century Pietism, the central focus of which is emotion and passionate expression.” These texts are given in full and translated into English in the booklet.

This recording is beautifully balanced, set in a generous but not overly vast acoustic, and performed with sublime musicality. There are numerous recordings of this work now available, and I last encountered Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri in Sigiswald Kuijken’s recording with La Petite Bande on the Accent label (review). This is a translucent and lighter-textured performance than some, but is striking for the intimacy of its single-voice performance. Vox Scaniensis is also a one-voice-to-a-part performance, but gives a more extrovert, expansive impression. Both performances allow a natural vibrato in the voices, but Kuijken maintains quite a restrained, chamber-music feel even where all of the voices are in full flow. Peter Wallin seeks and achieves more of a ‘public performance’ feel which raises the bar on dynamics and enhances the sense of drama.

There are more of these kinds of well-prepared recordings around. The Genuin label has a gorgeous sounding recording with Musica Lingua, Cantus Cölln with Konrad Junghänel on the Harmonia Mundi label is also good, going for more overtly dramatic content in their vocal interpretations. The list could go on, but the advice is to sample where you can to find out which version might speak to you the most.

I very much like this Vox Scaniensis performance for the sustained beauty of sections such as the ‘Quid Sunt Plagae Ista’ (track 14) that keep vibrato in reserve for that extra level of expression, and revel in Buxtehude’s dissonances without over-egging the pudding. This is just one of many highlights in a performance that holds contrast and expression very much on that fine line between too much reserve and impressive but ultimately annoying operatic indulgence. Intonation is very good indeed in this performance, and this is a big factor in its generous scale of sound. The lack of extras might be a small disadvantage, but the more I listened the more I delighted in this recording, and as far as I am concerned it comes very close to being at the top of an increasingly tall and wobbly pile of sacred Membrae.

Dominy Clements

 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger