mercoledì 23 luglio 2014

Festive Hanseatic Music

18 tracks - Mp3 192 Kbps - RAR 110Mb

The term "Hanseatic" in this program titled Festive Hanseatic Music originates from the word Hansa, which simply means a company of merchants trading overseas. The selections here were mostly composed during the waning years of the so-called Hanseatic league--an alliance of primarily prosperous northern European cities that began in the 13th century and ended in the 17th. While commerce for the Hanseatic league may have been on the decline during this period, the quality of the works offered on this new CPO CD clearly gives the impression that its musical life was thriving.
While a few of the major composers of the time are represented (Weckmann, Obrecht, Orlando di Lasso and Clemens non Papa) the program is devoted mostly to the lesser known. For example, the opening selections are three sacred concerto excerpts by Julius Johannes Weiland, a composer new to me and otherwise not currently represented on CD. Though obviously indebted to Schutz, Weiland's lovely settings are similarly rich in polyphonic variety and instrumental texture. While Julius Ernst Rautenstein also was well known in his time, little of his prolific output remains today. What a shame! His represented work, Ich schlafe, aber mein Herz wachet, based on a text from the Song of Songs, combines expertly crafted instrumental subtlety with operatic duet writing worthy of Monteverdi. I especially enjoyed how tenor Harry Geraert's relentless calls "Tu mir auf, meine Freundin" (Open up to me, my lady!) eventually find little reprieve, rendered in the lusty solace of the final line "Ja, ja ich komme in meinen Garten" (Yes, yes, I'm coming into my garden).
Equally satisfying are the Canzoni by Dietrich Becker and a rare "T'Andernaken" by Flemish vocal master Jacob Obrecht, the only instrumental works represented. About five years ago I was fortunate enough to happen on another CPO CD devoted entirely to Becker (still available!), a charming collection of his Suites and Sonatas beautifully performed by Parnassi Musici--so these Canzoni are especially welcome. While these quiet gems again derive their original inspiration from Italian models, Becker's counter-melodies, particularly in the strings, owe more to northern folk dance than to the Venetian court in the south. Obrecht's arrangement of the popular Flemish folk song "T'Andernaken" is as inventive as it is unusual, a spirited tune that must have provided Hanseatic town pipers many opportunities to demonstrate their virtuosity. CPO's sound is exemplary, with the performers all sufficiently detailed yet never unnaturally highlighted. Also, the outstanding collective Weser-Renaissance Bremen and its director Manfred Cordes deliver peerless, expert performances. Heartily recommended, especially to adventurous Renaissance music enthusiasts who delight in discovering off-the-beaten-path treasures.
--John Greene,

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Julius Johannes Weiland: Laudate Dominum, for 8 voices
Julius Johannes Weiland: Veni sancte spiritus, for 5 voices
Julius Johannes Weiland: Wohl dem, der ein tugendsam Weib hat, for 6 voices
Julius Ernst Rautenstein: Ich schlafe, aber mein Herz wachet, for 4 voices
Heinrich Albert: Auf und springet, for 5 voices
Andreas Hakenberger: Beati omnes, qui timent Dominum, for 12 voices
Philipp Dulichius: Omnis caro ut foenum, for 7 voices
Philipp Dulichius: Da pacem Domine, for 6 voices
Christoph Bernhard: Surrexit Christus, for 11 voices
Dietrich Becker: Canzon for 4 (or 5) parts in C major
Matthias Weckmann: Es erhub sich ein Streit, for 14 voices
Jacob Obrecht: Laudemus nunc Dominum/Non est hic aliud, motet for 5 voices
Jacob Obrecht: Tandernaken, chanson for 3 voices (text incipit only)
Orlande de Lassus: Heroum soboles, motet for 6 voices, M. i (S. xi/122)
Andries Pevernage: Clio, chantons disertement, for 6 voices
Jacobus Clemens Non Papa: Ick weet een vrouken amoreus, for 3 voices
Jacobus Clemens Non Papa: Fortuyne, wat heb dy ghebrouwen, for 3 voices
Andries Pevernage: Pleurez, Muses, for 5 voices

dir. Manfred Cordes

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