This is a gem of a CD. It's a well-chosen, well-performed and well-presented anthology of mid-Baroque German sacred cantatas. Bass Peter Kooij and the seven-person L'Armonia Sonora are directed by gambist Mieneke Van der Velden. They have a close and warm affinity not only with one another, but also for the music; it's music as varied as it's beautiful. Its rich, sustained sonorities will stay with you long after you have finished the uplifting experience of listening to the CD. Released on the enterprising Ramée label De profundis clamavi comprises seven sumptuous examples of the music written in the north German Länder in the period after the Thirty Years War. It's music which not so much 'reflects' that profound conflict, as is 'affected' by it – weighed down with detached regret and unselfconscious resignation.
Johann Kuhnau owes his fame today mainly to the fact that he was Bach's predecessor as cantor at St. Thomas's in Leipzig. The 17th and 18th centuries meet in Kuhnau's cantatas, where a heavily text-bound musical language following on from the Schütz tradition is combined with Italian melodies and a late-baroque spaciousness – a combination especially delightful to today's ears. Rounding off the CD are cantatas by Kuhnau’s close friend Vincenzo Albrici.
Gemma Bertagnolli is widely considered one of the leading sopranos in Early Music. Her voice is powerful, lyrical and passionate, always conveying the emotional message of the text. On this recording she joins Collegium Pro Musica and Stefano Bagliano in Cantatas for soprano, recorder and continuo, brilliant works displaying vocal and instrumental virtuosity.
This recording offers an unusual selection of Dietrich Buxtehude’s vocal music performed by 2010 Grammy® Award winning ensemble Theatre of Voices conducted by Paul Hillier. Among these rarely heard works with texts in Swedish and Latin, we find cantatas in the form of virtuoso concertos, as well as arias and chorale settings and Buxtehude’s only work in the stile antico, the Missa alla brevis.