Oxford Camerata - Heinrich Schutz: Psalmen Davids

Tuesday 1st April 1997
Oxford Camerata - Heinrich Schutz: Psalmen Davids

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Naxos 8553044
RELEASE DATE: 1998-08-05
RRP: £4.98

Reviewed by John Irvine

Heinrich Schutz was born 100 years before the great JS Bach and stands as a great musical link beiween the 16th century composers Palestrina, Byrd. Victoria and the 18th century composers Bach. Handel, etc. Stylistically, he stands midway between the unaccompanied choral music of the former group and the combined choral and orchestra music of the latter group. He is now regarded as the greatest German composer of the 17th century and the foundation for the German musical achievements of the next 200 years. At a time when the preferred religious texts for musical use were of a devotional or pietistic nature, Schutz was drawn to dramatic and descriptive texts from the Bible. In 1619 he published a collection of 26"anthems", the Psalmen Davids, of which 10 are represented on this recording. In addition to choosing texts which lent themselves to varied musical colours and texture, he choose to use tcxl in his native German and exploit the rich vowel sounds rather than set Latin texts lo music. The result? Superb vocal music as fresh and vital today as it was nearly 400 years ago. brilliantly performed by the Oxford Camerata. Full marks to Naxos for including full German texts and English translations -quite an achievement for a budget label. Another addition lo Naxos' ground breaking series of Early Music recordings.

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