One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano

Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785)
Sacred Motets
Der Herr Ist Mein Hirte [7:25]
Domine, Ad Adjuvandum Me Festina [2:41]
Invoca Me In Die Angustiae [2:23]
Wer Sich Selbst Erhöhet [2:24]
So Seid Nun Wacker [4:08]
Ich Freue Mich Im Herrn [1:47]
Siehe, Das Ist Gottes Lamm [3:27]
Selig Sind Die Toten [4:34]
Herr, Wenn Trübsal Da Ist [2:42]
Wir Liegen Für Dir Mit Unsrem Gebet [3:05]
Sehet, Welch Eine Liebe [2:38]
Unser Vater In Dem Himmel [4:24]
Rheinische Kantorei/Hermann Max
rec. 1983, location not given

G.A. Homilius was by all accounts a prolific composer. Despite remarkable productivity that included 230 cantatas and 60 motets, his is a name most frequently associated with his best known teacher, J.S. Bach, rather than with his own music. Homilius became organist at the Frauenkirche in Dresden, and such an important position made his one of the leading names of his day, described in his later years by the General German Library as “one of the best living church composers of which Germany can be proud.”

Setting mostly biblical texts, these motets are not particularly complex in effect, the contrapuntal polyphony of Bach’s day already considered old-fashioned. This ‘easy’ and accessible style is however by no means bereft of interest and beauty. The major/minor effects in Invoca Me In Die Angustiae are quite striking in this regard, and homophonic choral writing is prevented from becoming static through rhythmically inventive text setting and constant shifts, divisions, calls and responses between vocal parts. Harmonic interest and touching musical sensitivity can be found everywhere, but Herr, Wenn Trübsal Da Ist stands out in this regard, having been composed in 1760 just after Dresden’s destruction by the Prussians. As with much Rococo or galant style music this can have little impact on first impression, but the closer you become absorbed in the detail of each work the more you can sense the composer’s responsiveness to the text. It is a shame that there seems to have been only enough space for sung texts in German, but this is at least a starting point.

Hermann Max’s directing of the Rheinische Kantorei results in singing of the utmost lightness and transparency, the unnamed acoustic providing a suitably church-like halo of resonance. Shopping around for similar releases, the Carus label has among other works covered motets by Homilius in a couple of volumes performed by the Kammerchor Stuttgart conducted by Frieder Bernius (review) and more recently Sirventes Berlin directed by Stefan Schuck (review). These have a slightly bigger or more robust choral sound but are comparable and complementary in the spaciousness of their recordings. This MDG release from 1984 seems a bit of an oddball with its LP-length timing, but the quality of the performance and recording still make it an attractive document in the oeuvre of a relatively neglected composer.

Dominy Clements



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

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: See what you will get

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