Notes & Reviews:
The world premiere recording of Graun's Easter Oratorio, interpreted on historical instruments by the Kolner Akademie led by Willens. The music is imaginative and festive and displays a musical affinity to Bach's cantata oeuvre. The more complex, more finely crafted melodic formation stands out significantly from the simplicity of Graun's later works.
Expedition Audio Recommended
Orchestra, chorus and soloists are evenly superb, performing with an extraordinary uniformity of color and expression. The result is a clarity and fine-grained texture that allows us to hear Graun's music in the best possible light, and cpo has engineered the remarkably realistic sound-space that the performance deserves... Maestro Willens graciously agreed to answer a few of our questions regarding this recording. You can click on the Interview tab above [on the ExpeditionAudio.com website] to read that brief interview. ... read more ...
American Record Guide, September/October 2013
The Easter Oratorio is a rarity even among the works of Graun. The work is a cycle of four church cantatas intended to be performed on the first three days of Easter and the Sunday following. In the special category of "Historia", there would be a combination of narration with devotional commentary, as in Bach's Christmas Oratorio. In contrast, the Easter Oratorio is very much a part of the late baroque period in style and technique. The introduction to the opening chorus of the first cantata could almost pass for Bach. Graun's instrumentation is very colorful, with especially florid writing for brass and woodwind. The performance is everything we expect from first-rate early music artists. The vocal soloists have the appropriate weight and tone for this music and seem to be entirely at home with it stylistically.
The Guardian, 11th April 2014
Arduous vocal writing, both solo and choral, suggests that Graun had impressive singers at his disposal. The challenges are variably met here: tenor Jan Kobow is at his limits in places, though there's a particularly fine contribution from bass-baritone Andreas Wolf. The choral singing is notably beautiful.
Recording information: Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal (11/25/2012-11/27/2012).
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Works DetailsGraun, Carl Heinrich : Osteroratorium (Easter Oratorio), for soloists, chorus & orchestra
- Conductor: Michael Willens
- Ensemble: Kolner Akademie
- Notes: Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal (11/25/2012-11/27/2012)
- Running Time: 58 min. 35 sec.
- Period Time: Classical