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German Chamber Choir|Kraus: Miserere in C Minor, Requiem in D Minor & Stella coeli in C Major

Kraus: Miserere in C Minor, Requiem in D Minor & Stella coeli in C Major

German Chamber Choir, Michael Schneider, La Stagione Frankfurt

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Joseph Martin Kraus' most famous work -- the one that was still heard once in awhile even though his name was wholly out of circulation -- is his Funeral Cantata for King Gustav III, written in the last year of Kraus' life to memorialize his fallen patron. It is not his only sacred work, however; although they are relatively small in number, Kraus' sacred choral works may be found in all parts of his career and include some pretty substantial pieces. CPO's Joseph Martin Kraus: Sacred Works contains three such works -- very early settings of the Miserere (1773), a Requiem Mass (1775), and a middle period motet based on a Marian antiphon, Stella coeli (1783). These are performed by a group of soloists and the Deutscher Kammerchor with La Stagione Frankfurt under the direction of Michael Schneider. Although there is some curiosity about the date of the Requiem, the two earlier pieces date from Kraus' years as a university student studying law, not music. The motet came about in the South German town of Amorbach, where Kraus stopped on his learning tour during the early part of his stint as Gustav III's music master; in 1783 Kraus would have enjoyed the famous Stumm organ just installed; it's still there today, although much modified since Kraus' time.
Although the essay in the booklet is titled "Sacred Music of the Sturm und Drang," one would have to look pretty hard to find Sturm und Drang in the earlier Kraus works, although the "Dies Irae" of the Requiem comes close. The Miserere and Requiem contain harbingers of Kraus' general talent, but it's still in development; if you blindfolded even an expert listener and asked "which Haydn brother is this?" you probably wouldn't get the answer "neither." The motet Stella coeli is a better constructed piece than the others, with their long strings of really short movements, though it is of a sunnier disposition than we usually expect from Kraus; perhaps he had in mind the tastes of the Bavarian town in which he was asked to compose it. These performances are not very polished, nor are the soloists particularly distinguished; they are not a bad bunch, but alto Paul Gerhard Adam sounds tentative and nervous as though he's struggling on "Sacrificium" in the Miserere, which is odd, as the music he's singing really isn't that difficult. Also, the chorus sounds a little ragged in spots, and in general these are less than energetic performances. With all of the wide variety of choices in Kraus that one may encounter at the time of release of CPO's Joseph Martin Kraus: Sacred Works, this should not be regarded as a priority, although only the Requiem has been recorded before.

© TiVo

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Kraus: Miserere in C Minor, Requiem in D Minor & Stella coeli in C Major

German Chamber Choir

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Miserere in C Minor, VB 4 (Joseph Martin Kraus)

1
I. Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam
German Chamber Choir
00:02:17

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

2
II. Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea et a peccato
Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen
00:02:13

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - Carmen Schuller, Artist - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

3
III. Tibi soli peccavi et malum coram te feci
Julian Prégardien
00:03:13

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Julian Pregardien, Artist, MainArtist - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

4
IV. Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti
Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen
00:00:41

Ekkehard Abele, Artist - Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - Carmen Schuller, Artist - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen, Artist, MainArtist - Paul Gerhard Adam, Artist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

5
V. Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam
Ekkehard Abele
00:01:05

Ekkehard Abele, Artist, MainArtist - Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

6
VI. Averte faciam tuam a peccatis meis et omnes iniquitates meas dele
Carmen Schuller
00:02:26

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - Carmen Schuller, Artist, MainArtist - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

7
VII. Ne projicias me a facie tua et Spiritum Sanctum tuum
German Chamber Choir
00:02:41

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

8
VIII. Docebo iniquos vias tuas et impii ad te convertentur
Ekkehard Abele
00:03:02

Ekkehard Abele, Artist, MainArtist - Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

9
IX. Domine labia mea aperies et os meum annunciabit laudem tuam
German Chamber Choir
00:01:37

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

10
X. Sacrificium Deo, Spiritus contribulatus ist ein zerknirschter Geist
Paul Gerhard Adam
00:04:08

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir - Paul Gerhard Adam, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

11
XI. Tunc acceptabis sacrificium Dann hast du Freude an rechten Opfern
German Chamber Choir
00:02:04

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

12
XII. Gloria Patri et filio ehre sei dem Vater und dem Sohn
Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen
00:01:44

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

13
XIII. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper
German Chamber Choir
00:01:10

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

Requiem in D Minor, VB 1 (Joseph Martin Kraus)

14
I. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine
German Chamber Choir
00:01:27

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

15
II. Te decet hymnus Deus in Sion et tibi reddetur vatum in Jerusalem
Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen
00:02:07

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

16
III. Kyrie eleison
German Chamber Choir
00:01:54

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

17
IV. Dies irae, dies illa solvet saeclum in favilla
German Chamber Choir
00:01:36

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

18
V. Lacrymosa dies illa, cum resurget ex favilla
Paul Gerhard Adam
00:04:26

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Paul Gerhard Adam, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

19
VI. Huic ergo parce Deus
German Chamber Choir
00:01:20

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

20
VII. Domine Jesus Christe rex gloriae
German Chamber Choir
00:01:43

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

21
VIII. Quam olim Abrahae promisisti et semini ejus
German Chamber Choir
00:01:12

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

22
IX. Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Domine Deus Sabaoth
German Chamber Choir
00:01:03

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir, MainArtist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

23
X. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini
Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen
00:04:00

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen, Artist, MainArtist - Paul Gerhard Adam, Artist

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

24
XI. Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi
Ekkehard Abele
00:03:46

Ekkehard Abele, Artist, MainArtist - Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - German Chamber Choir, Choir

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

Stella coeli in C Major, VB 10 (Joseph Martin Kraus)

25
I. Stella coeli exstirpavit quae lactavit Dominum. Allegro moderato
Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen
00:04:14

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Julian Pregardien, Artist - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen, Artist, MainArtist - German Chamber Choir, Choir

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

26
II. O piissima stella maris, pestiferis succurre. Andante
Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen
00:03:58

Michael Schneider, Conductor - Joseph Martin Kraus, Composer - La Stagione Frankfurt, Orchestra - Annemei Blessing-Leyhausen, Artist, MainArtist - German Chamber Choir, Choir

(C) 2009 CPO (P) 2009 CPO

Album review

Joseph Martin Kraus' most famous work -- the one that was still heard once in awhile even though his name was wholly out of circulation -- is his Funeral Cantata for King Gustav III, written in the last year of Kraus' life to memorialize his fallen patron. It is not his only sacred work, however; although they are relatively small in number, Kraus' sacred choral works may be found in all parts of his career and include some pretty substantial pieces. CPO's Joseph Martin Kraus: Sacred Works contains three such works -- very early settings of the Miserere (1773), a Requiem Mass (1775), and a middle period motet based on a Marian antiphon, Stella coeli (1783). These are performed by a group of soloists and the Deutscher Kammerchor with La Stagione Frankfurt under the direction of Michael Schneider. Although there is some curiosity about the date of the Requiem, the two earlier pieces date from Kraus' years as a university student studying law, not music. The motet came about in the South German town of Amorbach, where Kraus stopped on his learning tour during the early part of his stint as Gustav III's music master; in 1783 Kraus would have enjoyed the famous Stumm organ just installed; it's still there today, although much modified since Kraus' time.
Although the essay in the booklet is titled "Sacred Music of the Sturm und Drang," one would have to look pretty hard to find Sturm und Drang in the earlier Kraus works, although the "Dies Irae" of the Requiem comes close. The Miserere and Requiem contain harbingers of Kraus' general talent, but it's still in development; if you blindfolded even an expert listener and asked "which Haydn brother is this?" you probably wouldn't get the answer "neither." The motet Stella coeli is a better constructed piece than the others, with their long strings of really short movements, though it is of a sunnier disposition than we usually expect from Kraus; perhaps he had in mind the tastes of the Bavarian town in which he was asked to compose it. These performances are not very polished, nor are the soloists particularly distinguished; they are not a bad bunch, but alto Paul Gerhard Adam sounds tentative and nervous as though he's struggling on "Sacrificium" in the Miserere, which is odd, as the music he's singing really isn't that difficult. Also, the chorus sounds a little ragged in spots, and in general these are less than energetic performances. With all of the wide variety of choices in Kraus that one may encounter at the time of release of CPO's Joseph Martin Kraus: Sacred Works, this should not be regarded as a priority, although only the Requiem has been recorded before.

© TiVo

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