Album Tweets 5.

Walt Mundkowsky

[December 2009.]

Michael PRÆTORIUS / Samuel SCHEIDT / Johann Hermann SCHEIN: Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning “as it might have been celebrated around 1620” (rec. 1993). Gabrieli Consort & Players, Boys’ Choir and Congregational Choir of Roskilde Cathedral, Paul McCreesh (cond.). DG Archiv 439 250-2 (http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/).

Roskilde Cathedral and its organ elevate McCreesh’s synthesis, as does singing from the congregation. Joyous and involving; splendid sounds.

Franz SCHUBERT: Winterreise, D. 911 (1827). Christine Schäfer (sop), Eric Schneider (pno). Onyx 4010 (http://www.onyxclassics.com/). Distributed in the US by Harmonia Mundi (http://www.harmoniamundi.com/).

“Gute Nacht” is brisk and already estranged. Cold and isolation mount. A more troubling Winterreise I’ve not heard. Schneider partners ably.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ: Lukas-Passion (1665-66). Johan Linderoth (Evangelist), Jakob Bloch Jespersen (Jesus), Ars Nova Copenhagen, Paul Hillier (cond.). Dacapo 8.226019 (http://www.dacapo-records.dk/). Distributed in the US by Naxos (http://www.naxos.com/).

Carefully prepared but rather anonymous in effect. A lengthy reverb (St. Paul’s Church, Copenhagen) blurs phrasing. The 52:41 limit offends.

The Cries of London.” Orlando GIBBONS: The Cries of London – I & II; Fantasia a 4 for the Great Dooble-Base; Go from my Window. William COBBOLD: New Fashions. Thomas WEELKES: The Cries of London. Richard DERING: Fantasia No. 1 in 6 parts; The City Cries; The Country Cries. Michael EAST: Verse Pastorals. Thomas RAVENSCROFT: The Three Ravens. Theatre of Voices: Else Torp (sop), Clara Sanabras (mez-sop), Julian Podger, Paul Elliott (ten), Paul Hillier (bar), Hillier (dir.). Fretwork: Richard Boothby, Richard Campbell, Wendy Gillespie, Julia Hodgson, William Hunt, Susanna Pell (viols). Harmonia Mundi HMU 907214 (http://www.harmoniamundi.com/).

Hillier loosens up, irresistibly. Fretwork, too. Street-vendor pitches set to music (1605-15) reveal a lost world. High art and low manners.

Johannes BRAHMS: Seven Fantasien, Op. 116 (1891-2); Three Intermezzi, Op. 117 (1892); Six Pieces, Op. 118 (1892-3); Four Pieces, Op. 119 (1892-3). Anna Gourari (pno). Berlin Classics 0016472BC (http://www.edelclassics.de/). Distributed in the US by Allegro Music (http://www.allegro-music.com/).

By way of Scriabin, so disquiet is laid bare. A riveting play of contrasts with flashes of lightning. Broad dynamics. Nervy and fascinating.