One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
53,992 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


 

Recordings of the Month

September


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


TAKEMITSU MESSIAEN


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Schubert Symphony 9

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

 

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Chorale Masses And Sacred Concertos
Rheinische Kantorei/Hermann Max
rec 1985, no venue given
MDG 6020169-2 [44.27]

Originally recorded and released in the mid 1980’s, I assume that this CD plopped onto my doorstep because it is an appropriate re-release of vocal music using chorales composed by Martin Luther (1483-1546). I assume also that the pitifully short playing time is a result of the fact that the original was made for LP or cassette.

Anyway, by a happy coincidence I found myself listening to this disc during the very week commemorating the day, five hundred years ago, when Luther’s ninety-five theses were hammered into the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg.

Martin Luther was, it must be remembered, a very competent composer and wrote some great tunes three of which are demonstrated on this CD. Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam’– A chorale for a baptismal service, Christ lag in Todesbanden and an Easter chorale which is based on the ancient Latin hymn ‘Victimae Paschali Laudes’, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland based on a Whitsuntide text originally ‘Veni redemptor gentium’.

The Rheinische Kantorei under Hermann Max offer us a sacred concerto each for two sopranos, tenor and basso continuo and Mass movements (curiously, you might think, in Latin), which use these Lutheran chorales. The composer of these vocal concerti was Johann Hermann Schein who worked, interestingly, at Leipzig in the Thomasschulle, making him Bach’s predecessor by two generations.

We are given only the Kyrie and Gloria from Masses by Christoph Bernhard and Frederich Wilhelm Zachow, both highly conservative for the period, being contrapuntal and full of typically renaissance imitation. Zachow was Handel’s teacher and one can hear clearly how Handel must have gained his technical training from such a figure.

And talking of counterpoint the Mass, recorded complete, by Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, better known as a keyboard composer, based on ‘Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland’ simply recognises its ‘old-style’ with its title Missa in contrapuncto. There are a few baroque traits, however, including a pleasing use of hemiola. The movements which especially connected with me, were the Credo and Agnus with their solo passages contrasting with the ripieno ones. The final ‘donna nobis pacem’ falls into a pleasing triple time.

The performances are perhaps understated but always tasteful and beautifully balanced and enunciated. The Rheiniseche Kanatorei are ideally suited to this repertoire and Hermann Max’s direction never imposes itself between the listener and composer.

The booklet essay by Franzpeter Messmer is adequate although lacking in detail. Translations of the hymn verses set by Schein are given but not the mass movements which it assumes your are familiar with. The recording is natural and unaffected up to high standards developed by MDG.

Gary Higginson
 

Contents
Johann Hermann SCHEIN (1586-1630)
Christ, under Herr, zum Jordan kam
Christoph BERNHARD (1627-1692)
Missa Brevis
Johann Hermann SCHEIN
Christ lag in Todesbanden
Frederich Wilhelm ZACHOW (1663-1712)
Missa super Chorale ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden
Johann Hermann SCHEIN
Nun komm der Heiden Heiland
Johann Caspar FISCHER (c.1665-1746)
Missa in contrapuncto

 

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage



Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger