Notes & Reviews:
The voice of the countertenor Franz Vitzthum fascinates with its lightness and clarity: it's almost "celestial" quality appears completely free of all ballast. How appropriate therefore is the program of this new CD: the yearning for eternal life in which the troubles of mortal existence have been thrown off was a central theme of the German Baroque period.
Franz Vitzthum has selected cantatas and songs by a series of composers including Erlebach, Hildebrand, Böhm and Krieger whose compositions have for the most part been recorded on CD for the first time. The highlight rounding off this program is the cantata "Ich fürchte keinen Tod auf Erden" [I do not fear death on earth] by Johann Augustin Kobelius (1674-1731) which is the only work by this composer to have been preserved. Kobelius was a fellow competitor of the young Johann Sebastian Bach for an organ post in the St. Jacob's church in Sangerhausen - and here Bach lost out on the only occasion throughout his entire career! The fact that Kobelius must have deserved the post is borne out by the quality of his cantata which is presented to the public for the first time as a small sensation.
American Record Guide, July / August 2012
From the gentle sound of the unaccompanied salterio to the richly vivid sound of full viol consort and with Vitzthum's skillful attention to stylistic detail (e.g. the "Monteverdi trill" of rapidly repeating one note), beautifully shaped phrasing, and captivating tone, this is an elegantly presented and thoroughly satisfying program. Vitzthum applies vibrato sparingly, and the instrumentalists use none at all, giving the sound a celestial purity. The aural perspective puts you in a warm, intimate relationship with the performers but not too close and allows the low theorbo notes to be heard with far more clarity than is usually possible in concert performance.