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Dacapo - Danmarks Nationale Musikantologi

Format:  CD

Katalognummer:  8.226094

Stregkode:  636943609422

Udgivelsesmåned:  Jan 2011

Periode:  Barok


Heinrich Schütz: Matthäus-Passion

01 April 2011  David's Review Corner
David Denson

With this recording of the St Matthew Passion we come to the end of an outstanding traversal of choral music by the German composer, Heinrich Schutz. It originates from Denmark who claim a portion of a composer who spent just four years in Copenhagen. Yet in that time he initiated much of the emergence of music in the 17th century Denmark. In his notes that accompany the disc, the conductor, Paul Hillier, states that the series has contained the singing stories of Schutz, a composer who is revered in the world of vocal music, but one who receives precious few performances. That has more to do with practicalities, most of his works being short and requiring very different forces.


He has therefore chosen the most extensive scores for the series, but has saved the great St Matthew Passion for his final installment. Dating from 1666, it is an early example of the story related in unaccompanied notation that links choral sections usually divided into four voices. At the time it was revelatory, the two solo singers having vast stretches of musical dialogue. Maybe you will feel, as I do, that it was a good reason why the Schutz era was so quickly replaced by the music of Handel, who continued the use of recitatives-but in moderation. Here we have to praise Julian Podger, as the Evangelist, and Jacob Bloch Jespersen, as Christus for retaining listener attention. When the Ars Nova Copenhagen briefly appear it is usually in the mode of short self-contained motets. Excellently performed and immaculately recorded, it will be an important release to those interested in this era.

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