Himlishce Cantorey - Music Of The Reformation

Published Sunday 15th July 2007
Himlishce Cantorey - Music Of The Reformation
Himlishce Cantorey - Music Of The Reformation

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: CPO 7772752

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

The Protestant Reformation could be said to have begun in 1517 when Luther nailed his theses to the Wittenberg door but it was not until 1524 that the first Protestant hymnal was published. This CD, lovingly compiled by the critically acclaimed vocal quintet Himlische Cantorey supplemented on some songs by a lute and/or organ, takes us back in time to the heady first days of the Reformation. It is only right and proper that the opening song comes from Martin Luther himself. In all, Luther supplies four titles with the other two composers, Caspar Othmayr (1515-1553) and Johann Walter (1496-1570) both supplying nine. One has to listen hard to tell the three apart as they are so obviously singing from the same hymnbook, so to speak. The one word review would be "joful" - not a word one usually associates with Luther. My day job means I sometimes lecture on Ecclesiastical History and in the future I will be using this CD to illustrate that the Reformation was not a joyless, dour reaction to Catholicism. The longer review would draw your attention to the quality of Himlische Cantorey's vocal prowess and refer you to the helpful sleevenotes for a more detailed account of the contents.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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