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Thread: Sacred music; what have you been listening to lately?

  1. #2251
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    With the "Triduum Sacrum" of 2019 upon us, for all those, like me, who are tired of hearing the over-hyped Bach passions and are looking for something else of equivalent devotional substance, I recommend the following works by sadly forgotten giants who were intimately woven into the "Bach story":

    1. Christoph Graupner: The man chosen ahead of Bach for the Thomaskantor position but who remained in his position in Darmstadt instead wrote a ton of cantatas for holy week. Almost all of them are brilliant and reveal a style as unique as Bach's and, in my view, equally devotional, though in a different way (more of a textural than tuneful approach). Some of these cantatas have been cleverly arranged into passion-like groups and performed on 3 wonderful CDs by Ex Tempore and the Barockorchester Mannheimer Hofkapelle directed by Florian Heyerick. The first two disks can also be found on Spotify.

    Disk 1 https://www.chandos.net/products/reviews/CX_5071

    Disk 2 https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CX%205170

    Disk 3 (released just a few weeks ago!):
    https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/cpo/detail/...977552?lang=en

    This is all wonderful music. One of the many highlights for me is the Aria "Schwert und Stangen, starke Scharen fangen Jesum nicht" (Rough translation: "The mob, with their swords and spears, can't catch Jesus") on the first disc (It is part of the cantata "Christus der uns selig macht"). It mocks the strength of the weapons in the form of swooping strings with a solo oboe basically doing the musical equivalent of "nah nah-nah nah nah - you can't get me" and the soloist repeatedly singing "no no, you can't catch him". In the central section of the da capo aria the concept of love as the only chains binding Jesus' hands are depicted by intricate "chainlinks" spun by the solo oboe against shimmering strings. I find this whole aria to be mesmerising and spiritually uplifting, but not in an over the top way.

    2. Gottlob Harrer: The man who directly followed Bach as Thomaskantor (though sadly only survived a couple of years into his tenure) wrote in around 1751 an absolutely brilliant setting of apparently his own German translation of Metastasio's hit "La Passione di Gesu Cristo" that had been set since the 1730 by a slew of mainly Italian composers. Although we don't know it for sure, one can speculate that Harrer's setting was for the first holy week following Bach's death as he seems to be keen to ease the Leipzig audience into the post-Bach period with a very Bachian fugal overture, a dramatic opening accompanied recitative (not unlike the dramatic scenes in some of Bach's passions) followed by a deeply moving opening aria which, from its texture and use of Oboe d'Amore seems to hark back to Bach but also to look forward to the upcoming classical style. After breaking the ice in this way Harrer then releases the full blown "Dresden style" that he must of acquired in his long years of training in that city which involved close connections with Bach's friends, Jan Dismas Zelenka and Johann Adolf Hasse. It seems that Harrer's passion has been performed only once in modern times, a performance in 2005 directed by the late Ludger Rémy. To our good fortune, that performance was recorded. Here it is - sadly the person who uploaded it to youtube very regrettably did not disable crossfade, so the start and end of tracks are blurred together - but this only negligibly tarnishes an absolutely gem of a work that absolutely must be performed and recorded in the future:



    Conclusion: there is much more to late baroque holy week music than the (great, but thoroughly overplayed) Bach works.
    Last edited by Tasto solo; Apr-18-2019 at 12:45.

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    LAMENTATIONS
    Holy Week in Provence
    Bouzignac - Ceppede - Carpentras - Gilles - Vitre - Godolin - Gregorian chant
    Schola Cantorum of Boston
    Boston Camerata

    Joel Cohen - director

    Apex
    P.M. Summer
    simul justus et peccator

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    Senior Member pmsummer's Avatar
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    TENEBRAE RESPONSORIA
    Don Carlo Gesualdo
    The Hilliard Ensemble

    ECM New Series
    P.M. Summer
    simul justus et peccator

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    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmsummer View Post

    TENEBRAE
    Yes, the time is rapidly approaching now. I haven't decided what I will listen to before this night is over.


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    MUSIC FOR HOLY WEEK
    Anonymous
    In Proportional Rhythm
    Schola Antiqua
    Barbara Katherine Jones, John Blackley - directors

    L'Oiseau Lyre Florilegium
    P.M. Summer
    simul justus et peccator

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    Senior Member pmsummer's Avatar
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    THE COMPLETE NARRATIVE WORKS (for Good Friday)
    Heinrich Schütz
    Saint Luke Passion, SWV 480
    Die sieben Worte unsers lieben Erlösers, SWV 478
    Saint John Passion, SWV 481
    Saint Matthew Passion, SWV 479

    Ars Nova Copenhagen
    Concerto Copenhagen
    Sirius Viols

    Allan Rasmussen - organ
    Paul Hillier - director

    Dacapo
    P.M. Summer
    simul justus et peccator

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    Absolutely gorgeous

    Listening now....




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    *************delete***********

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    PASSIONSMUSIK
    O Bone Jesu, Fili Mariae
    Heinrich Schütz
    Membra Jesu Nostri
    Dietrich Buxtehude
    The Monteverdi Choir
    The English Baroque Soloists
    Fretwork

    John Eliot Gardiner - director

    Archiv Produktion
    P.M. Summer
    simul justus et peccator

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    Pilar Lorengar; Yvonne Minton; Luciano Pavarotti; Hans Sotin; "STABAT MATER"; Gioachino Rossini
    Theatre, a forum for public debate, an arena for cathartic spectacle and somewhere for vain bitchy people to show off in front of big crowds!


    I forgive criticisms, I like to embrace enemies.

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    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    Taking a break from The Ring for a little bit. Simon Keenlyside and Bryn Terfel, Ave Verum Corpus

    <em>


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    Friday... Good Friday... I listened to Bach's St. Matthew Passion:

    R-4448622-1529602564-2476.jpeg.jpg
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    I always try to listen to Bach... if only a small bit... every Sunday. This Easter Sunday I listened to the Easter Oratorio:

    613j0s0PpHL.jpg
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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    Most recently I gave this rather new composition/recording a listen:

    D2RuiCgW0AIOB0n.500.jpg
    Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

    Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with
    those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.

    Pablo Picasso

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