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Heinrich Schutz: Weinnachtshistoire, Auferstehungshistorie / Else Torp, soprano; Johan Linderoth, tenor / Paul Hillier

Performer Conductor Ensembles

Notes & Reviews:

The second volume of ARS NOVA Copenhagen & chief conductor Paul Hillier's series showcasing the passions and oratorios of Heinrich Schutz features the Christmas Story and the Resurrection History, two masterly examples of the early vocal Baroque before the time of Bach, who admired Schutz. ARS NOVA and a team of talented Danish soloists are accompanied by players of the acclaimed ensemble Concerto Copenhagen and the viola da gamba ensemble Sirius Viols, founded by and featuring Hille Perl, one of the world's leading viola da gamba players.

"... The beginning of the Christmas Story immediately establishes that the instrumental playing of the dozen-strong Concerto Copenhagen is of the very highest quality: the tasteful continuo playing and sympathetic violin ritornellos are a pleasure to hear. The pastoral effect of the recorders accompanying the shepherds' trio is gorgeous and the soft sackbuts give magnificent support to the quartet of Herod's chief priests and scribes. Ars Nova Copenhagen reaffirms its status as an outstanding vocal ensemble with luminous and pure choral singing. Its members also provide excellent solos: Adam Riis's soothing Evangelist perfectly narrates the nativity tale, Else Torp radiantly proclaims the good news to the shepherds and Jakob Block Jespersen's regal Herod is frighteningly persuasive and plausible. The different groups of shepherds and wise men perform their contrapuntal trios with clarity and eloquence. Hillier paces and shapes Schütz's music to perfection, allying flawless performance practice to distinctively warm-hearted story-telling. These qualities are also fully to the fore in an immaculately poised performance of the Resurrection Story, during which Johan Linderoth's compassionate Evangelist is emotively partnered with Hille Perl's consort Sirius Viols. Schütz recordings of such ardent beauty are much too rare, so this is not to be missed." -Gramophone Awards, 2010 / Baroque Vocal nominee


Schutz Weihnachtshistorie Auferstehungshistorie Ars Nova
Heinrich Schutz (Schuetz) (1585 - 1672) was the most important seventeenth-century German composer who spanned the bridge between the Renaissance era (1440c - 1600c) and the Baroque era (1600c - 1750c). Not surprisingly, therefore, many of Schutz's choral passages sound (to my ear) like an extension of Gabrieli's majestic style, complete with splendid writing for brass, while his recitative passages, with their delicately accompanied narratives, point to the Baroque style refined by those who followed, especially Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750), who was born 100 years after Schutz. With his blend of choral and recitative passages, Schutz essentially tells two biblical stories - Christ's birth and resurrection. This Dacapo CD of two of Schutz's most famous works is a welcome addition to the catalogs, because it combines on a single CD two of his most important compositions. Both works are available on other CDs, but (as far as I can ascertain) not together, as on this new CD. The choral passages are glorious, the soloists are excellent, and the accompaniments are beautifully performed. The recorded sound is crystal clear. Highly recommended!
Submitted on 11/26/09 by Ted Wilks 
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