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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 15 maart 2019 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet
It is to the distinctive compositional voice of Jan Dismas Zelenka that Ruben Jais and laBarocca turn for their latest release from the Glossa label with a new recording of the Missa Omnium Sanctorum. For more than thirty years Zelenka worked as a composer and as a double-bass player at the Dresden Court, the musical establishment which – in the first half of the eighteenth century – was regarded as one of the glories of its age. Zelenka finished this mass, an expansive, dynamic multi-movement work (notably the Gloria) scored for soloists, chorus and orchestra, in 1741; by this time the composer was in his sixties, and the mass stands as one of the summations of his creative endeavours. The Milanese Ruben Jais – who has previously prepared programmes of Bach and Gluck for Glossa – provides exuberant conducting for music which takes in studied choraal sections, exhilarating fugues, High Baroque flourishes as well as the dance-like tendencies of the galant style. In this musical diversity Ruben Jais is accompanied by a solo team consisting of Carlotta Colombo, Filippo Mineccia, Cyril Auvity and Lukas Zeman, but with more than important contributions being required from the choral and instrumental forces of laBarocca. © Glossa
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 2 november 2018 | Carus

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
Of Zelenka's known works (roughly two hundred pieces) only about a dozen are not religious. And so it's no surprise that the catalogue contains heaps of masses, oratorios, requiems, psalms, litanies, Te Deums and Magnificats. He wrote all these marvels while working at the court of Dresden, where he spent the best part of his life, from 1710 until his death 35 years later. By all indications, the two successive monarchs he served liked his work a lot; but they were not his only fans. One Johann Sebastian Bach admired him enough to invite him to stay now and again, and to copy (or rather, to have his sons copy) several of Zelenka's works. His work would only come back into fashion after his death, thanks in particualr to the efforts of Smetana, who wanted to honour musicians of Czech origin, of whom Zelenka was one. The writing still shows great harmonic daring, stuffed to the brim with unusual chromaticisms in a great melting pot of national influences: there's North German counter-punctual rigour, of course, and Italian melodic flair – but then there is also something rarer: Bohemian and Moravian melismas, which are normally only found in the works of consciously "national" Czech composers, foremost of whom Smetana. Here we find his Mass of St Joseph, written in 1732 – making it a mature work of his – as well as some highly original psalms from the mid-1720s. The exceptional Frieder Bernius leads his his Stuttgart ensembles, the local Chamber Choir and Baroque Orchestra, which he has raised up to an international standard. This is the world's first-ever recording of this mass. © SM/Qobuz
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 23 maart 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
From the start of the 18th century, Lutheran Germany has kept the tradition of performing an oratorio for the Passion in Holy Week. In Hamburg, where Telemann is said to have spent 46 years as musical director, he would have overseen as many Passions. But if we include his previous jobs, that would take the number of works by Telemann for this theme alone to over sixty! These Passions could be strictly liturgical, that is, they could closely follow the text of one of the Gospels; but they could also liberally paraphrase the story of the Passion, following a version by a contemporary author; or they could represent a meditation on the events. And so Seliges Erwägen by Telemann, whose full title leaves no doubt as to the content: Oratorio of the Passion, or Spiritual Contemplation on the bitter suffering and death of Jesus Christ, to inspire prayer, in several meditations taken from the account of the Passion. Not a linear account of the Passion, as with Bach: but a series of individual meditations set to music. The work was first composed in 1719, and then reviewed and completed three years later for Hamburg, where the first performance took place on 19 March 1722 the success was considerable, and the work was performed again and again many times throughout the following decades. This was probably the most-performed work on the Passion in the 18th century, out ahead even of Telemann's Brockes Passion... There is no evangelist here, nor storyteller, but rather an evocation of the main events of the Passion. That is why there are only two main "roles" here: Christ, with six airs and six recitations, and the allegory of the Devotion (soprano or tenor) as the mouthpiece for the thoughts of the faithful, with eight airs and eight recitations. The sole narrator is Peter, with his denial and despair, and Caiaphas, the high priest who condemns Jesus, comes on for a single, very violent, air. This is very much a series of individual devotional meditations. The instrumentation in particular is extraordinarily rich. Alongside the strings, the continuo and the standard woodwind, a dash of colour is added by two horns, two chalumeaux, ancestors of the clarinet – what a pity that Bach never made the most of this sound – echoing recorders, a magnificent bassoon solo that intermingles with the soprano's voice; in short, once again, Teleman proves to us that far from being a mill for middle-of-the-road baroque, he is in fact one of the most imposing musical minds of his age. The Freiburger Barockorchester and a lovely soloists come together to perform this work.. © SM/Qobuz
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 15 januari 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
It might be hard to believe that there could still exist a "discographic world first" when it came to the works of Gounod, and harder still to imagine that it could be such a substantial piece as this. And yet… Saint François d’Assise, a little oratorio in two parts first performed in 1891, has remained obscure up until now, to the point that its very existence has proved something of a surprise. And then all of a sudden, in 1996, the manuscript came back to light quite by accident: and here is its first recording, although several recordings had been made since its rediscovery. Gounod's last oratorio, of rather more modest proportions than Rédemption or Mors et Vita, with its great unity and flavoursome, carefully-tailored archaisms, conjures up both Franciscan austerity and that fullness of sound for which Gounod had such a knack. According to the composer himself: "I wanted the first of the two tableaux to be a musical translation of that beautiful tableau by Murillo showing Christ on the cross leaning over to St. Francis and putting his arm around his neck. The second tableau would be a translation of that fine work by Giotto, The Death of St Francis, surrounded by his brothers. " Let the listener be guided by his own lights. The album is rounded off with Hymne à Sainte Cécile, also by Gounod, and then Légende de Sainte Cécile by Liszt, written in 1874; and it should come of no surprise that the work is sung in French: it is, after all, the work's original language. © SM/Qobuz
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 8 december 2017 | BENDEZ RECORDS

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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 15 september 2017 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4 étoiles de Classica
“With me, musical invention is the fruit of persevering and laborious work. I find it difficult to compose, and constantly return to what I have already committed to paper. I feel drawn primarily to the organ and the orchestra. These two worlds of sound, organ and orchestra, are so inexhaustible that – in my opinion at least – they offer all kinds of possibilities for renewal.” With these words, Maurice Duruflé (1902–1986) describes his work as a composer – work that was characterized by constant doubts and scruples. His statement also makes it clear why his entire oeuvre of sacred organ and vocal music amounts to only 14 works with opus numbers, all of them strongly influenced by Gregorian chant, Late Romanticism and French Impressionism. In his Requiem, Duruflé chose to adopt the spiritual, contemplative aesthetic familiar from Gabriel Fauré’s contribution to the genre. Fauré, too, had avoided placing the drama of the Last Judgment at the heart of the work and instead chosen the spiritual confrontation with death, paired with sentiments such as gentleness and hope. Duruflé thus turned his back on the romantic Requiems by composers such as Hector Berlioz or Giuseppe Verdi who, with their penchant for the grandiose and operatic, had painted a kind of “apocalyptic fresco“. Like Fauré before him, he also dispensed with any dramatic rendition of the “Dies irae“, instead placing the idea of the resurrection at the centre of his interpretation. As with Duruflé, it is quite clear that Gregorian chant exerted a very powerful influence on the Respighi’s art; elements of it can be found in almost all the works he composed after 1920. The fact that these purist melodies, combined with the system of old church modes, fascinated him so much can to some extent be explained by the fact that they represented the greatest possible contrast to the overheated, chromatically refined harmonies of the Verists and post-Wagnerians. Escaping into atonality was never an option for Respighi; it was in the archaic, austere character of Gregorian chant that he recognized innovative potential. Respighi very happily integrated his newfound knowledge into a violin concerto, the Concerto Gregoriano, written 1921. To Respighi’s regret, the response to the world premiere was only lukewarm; indeed, he waited in vain throughout his life for a performance that would do the piece justice. Rest assured, this new interpretation by Henry Raudales is a welcome addition to the rather modest discography of the work.
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 21 juli 2017 | Genuin

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Sacred Oratorios - Verschenen op 7 april 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 24 maart 2017 | Ricercar

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 2 december 2016 | HORTUS

Hi-Res Booklet
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 28 oktober 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 30 september 2016 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 3 juni 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
In July 2015, just eight months before his death, Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducted spiritual opus of Beethoven, the enigmatic and titanic Missa Solemnis, for a final time. It was a work that he addressed very late in his career, with 1988 being the first time. At the head of his Concentus Musicus and the Arnold Schönberg Choir, he produces an uncluttered reading, stripped of all excess weight that has restricted so many conductors in the past, including the most famous. It’s almost like attending a huge Mass! Both the Piano and silence are key, allowing the monument to emerge in all its grandeur from the calm. Suddenly the lines become clear and intelligible, the "lengths" acquire their entire purpose... what we see from the old lion Harnoncourt here is most extraordinary, with his ability to allow the listener to peer into the soul of Beethoven. If there is only one record to keep... © SM / Qobuz
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 29 april 2016 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 1 april 2016 | Carus

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 4 maart 2016 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Sacred Oratorios - Verschenen op 31 maart 2015 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 2 maart 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
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Missen, passies, requiems - Verschenen op 13 januari 2015 | Signum Records

Hi-Res Booklet
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Religieuze vocale muziek - Verschenen op 2 juni 2014 | Paraty Productions

Hi-Res Booklet