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Mendelssohn: Christus; Cantates Chorales / Piau, Butter, Getchell

Audio Samples

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Verleih uns Frieden
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Christus, oratorio, Op. 97 (unfinished)
>Mendelssohn, Felix : O Haupt Voll Blut und Wunden, chorale cantata for voice, chorus & orchestra in C minor
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Vom Himmel hoch, chorale cantata for soloists, chorus & orchestra in C major

Album Summary

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Verleih uns Frieden
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Christus, oratorio, Op. 97 (unfinished)
>Mendelssohn, Felix : O Haupt Voll Blut und Wunden, chorale cantata for voice, chorus & orchestra in C minor
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Vom Himmel hoch, chorale cantata for soloists, chorus & orchestra in C major
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Under its conductor, Laurence Equilbey, who founded Accentus in 1991, the choir is committed to promoting the vocal arts as widely as possible, with more than 60 concerts a year on average, a cappella or with orchestra, before an ever more diverse public. Following landmark recordings of Rachmaninoff Vespers, Haydn Seven Last Words or Fauré Requiem Accentus' 15th recording on Naïve is another achievement in the field of sacred music. Mendelssohn's Christus is an unfinished masterpiece, composed between the death of Felix's sister and its own. The other works featured on the recording were composed at the very beginning of Mendelssohn's career.

"Salvaged from an unfinished three-part oratorio originally titled "Earth, Heaven & Hell", the two sections of Mendelssohn's "Christus" deal with the Nativity and the Passion, jumping abruptly from birth to betrayal with no intervening exposition. The sense of hollowness is tempered, however, by a series of finesses, the first being the delightful trio of tenor, baritone and soprano representing the Three Kings" -The Independent

"Some of the focus [in Christus] is soft in this performance, but doesn't deter from the pleasure. Three cantatas complete the disc, including "Verleih uns frieden gnädiglich", much loved by Schumann, and the joyful Christmas work "Vom Himmel hoch"." -The Observer

"Mendelssohn’s veneration of Bach...and the Lutheran tradition shines through this chorale-rich music. [Vom Himmel Hoch ] is a little post-Bachian masterpiece, with a jubilant opening number and fine soprano and baritone solos, beautifully sung here by Sandrine Piau and Markus Butter. The French conductor’s choir and orchestra do Mendelssohn proud." -The Sunday Times

BBC Music Magazine
Accentus's many fans have further reason to celebrate. All their hallmarks are in evidence here: springy rhythms, fine choral balance, clean, bright tone, splendid diction. And what marvellous music this is!... The three soloists are all first class, alive to the drama in each of the works but never over-responding. A disc to treasure.

Gramophone Magazine
The soloists sing with great beauty and feeling, and the choir and orchestra - the former rather backwardly recorded - are equally fine.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
The performances are wonderfully played, sung, and recorded. The baritone is darker and tubbier than ideal, but Sandrine Piau and the Accentus singers sing like angels. Full notes, texts, and translations are supplied. The repertoire might be too far off the beaten path to call this a mandatory addition to your choral library, but what a nice luxury purchase it would be.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Notre-Dame Du Liban Church, Paris, France (06/2011).



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Works Details

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Verleih uns Frieden
  • Performers: Markus Butter (Bass); Robert Getchell (Countertenor); Sandrine Piau (Soprano); Laurent Slaars (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Laurence Equilbey
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
  • Running Time: 4 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 02/10/1831

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Christus, oratorio, Op. 97 (unfinished)
  • Performers: Markus Butter (Bass); Robert Getchell (Countertenor); Sandrine Piau (Soprano); Laurent Slaars (Baritone)
  • Conductor: Laurence Equilbey
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
  • Running Time: 17 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1847

>Mendelssohn, Felix : O Haupt Voll Blut und Wunden, chorale cantata for voice, chorus & orchestra in C minor
  • Conductor: Laurence Equilbey
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
  • Running Time: 11 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 09/13/1830

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Vom Himmel hoch, chorale cantata for soloists, chorus & orchestra in C major
  • Conductor: Laurence Equilbey
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Orchestral de Paris
  • Running Time: 12 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 01/28/1831