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Handel: Brockes Passion / Neumann, Winkel, Bill, Dahmen, Thomer

Handel / Kammerchor / Cartusianum / Neumann
Release Date: 04/13/2010 
Label:  Carus   Catalog #: 83428   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Markus BrutscherElvira BillJan ThomerNele Gramss,   ... 
Conductor:  Peter Neumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium CartusianumCologne Chamber Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

An excellent performance.

George Frideric Handel left a large oeuvre, most of it written after he had left Germany. As a result very few compositions on a German text are known. For some time a St John Passion was attributed to Handel, but there now seems general agreement that it was written by someone else. That leaves the nine German arias and the Brockes Passion. Although they are on German texts Handel wrote them while he was living in England.
 
Handel used the well-known libretto 'Der für die Sünden der Welt gemarterte und sterbende Jesus' (Jesus who suffered and died for the sins of the world) written by Barthold Heinrich Brockes. It was also set by other composers: Reinhard Keiser
Read more (1712, the same year the libretto was published), Georg Philipp Telemann in 1716 (the same year as Handel) and Johann Mattheson in 1718. The latter performed all four in Holy Week of 1719 in the refectory of Hamburg Cathedral. This church was a kind of sanctuary in Hamburg because it was not under the supervision of the city council. Brockes' text was of a dramatic nature and offered a composer much opportunity to write in an operatic style. That kind of Passion music was certainly not approved of by the ecclesiastical authorities.
 
The Brockes Passion was one of the first in the new genre of the Passion oratorio in which the text of the Gospels was paraphrased. The report of the events is delivered by the Evangelist, the other characters in the Gospels are also represented - Judas, Peter, Pilate, - but there are also two symbolic characters: Tochter Zion (Daughter of Sion) and Gläubige Seele (the Believer) who reflect and comment on the events. They take most of the arias, and are mostly scored for soprano. Because of the number of arias some are performed by Johanna Winkel, who also takes the role of the Believer. Two arias of the Believer and one of Daughter of Sion are given to a tenor, and are sung here by Markus Brutscher. And another aria of the Believer is scored for bass: 'Wie kommt's, dass da der Himmel weint', sung by Michael Dahmen.
 
Handel explored the operatic character of the libretto to the full. It is hardly surprising that he used material from this Passion in later years for some of his English oratorios. The text is set in a very expressive way, not only for the voice but also for the instruments. Two arias are given to Jesus, another feature of the Passion oratorio. These two - 'Mein Vater, schau wie ich' and 'Ist's möglich, dass dein Zorn', which have the same musical material and are divided by a recitative - are introduced by dramatic chords from the strings. Descending chords lead to Peter's aria 'Schau, ich fall' in strenger Busse': "See, I fall on my knees at your feet as a penance". A kind of operatic dialogue is the scene in Gethsemane, when Jesus urges his disciples to stay awake. Also reminiscent of opera are the rage arias; there are no less than four in this oratorio.
 
In some arias instruments play a prominent role. The aria 'Dem Himmel gleicht sein buntgefärbter Rücken' - which with some textual differences also appears in Bach's St John Passion - contains an extended solo for the violin. The highly expressive aria 'Die ihr Gottes Gnad' versäumet' has a beautiful obbligato part for the oboe. And the last aria of this oratorio, 'Wisch ab der Tränen scharfe Lauge', begins with an introduction by the strings, after which soprano and oboe proceed alone in unisono. These are just some examples of the many splendid arias this oratorio contains. In addition there are two duets, between Daughter of Sion and Jesus, and between Mary and Jesus respectively. The latter and the preceding recitative are the only passages which are given to Mary.
 
Handel's manuscript has not been preserved. For this recording a copy was used – one made by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is not known whether he copied it to perform in Leipzig or just out of interest. In this copy the text of the first chorus has been changed. Brockes' text begins with the words: "Mich vom Stricke meiner Sünden zu entbinden". Here we get: "Kommet, ihr verworfnen Sünder".
 
Considering that Handel's Brockes Passion was first performed in the refectory of Hamburg Cathedral one wonders how large the ensemble would have been. A choir of 27 singers is probably a bit on the large side. On the other hand, the oratorio has been performed again in later years, probably also in larger venues, and that could well be an argument in favour of a larger ensemble. I have nothing but praise for the choir, though. It produces a powerful sound where it is due, in particular in the 'turbae'. But the chorales are also beautifully sung.
 
What is so admirable about this performance is that it has absolutely no weak link. Peter Neumann has brought together a really excellent cast, which is stylistically on the same wavelength. The two sopranos have gorgeous voices; they are not that different, but here that is not really necessary. They sing the more dramatic recitatives and arias just as brilliantly as the more reflective parts. Markus Brutscher gives a splendid account of the part of the Evangelist. His articulation and diction are exemplary. If there is one thing to criticise it is that the recitatives are sometimes too strict in time, with too little rhythmic freedom. This is a problem with recordings of baroque vocal music which I have noticed quite often.
 
Markus Flaig performs the role of Jesus just as well, both in the recitatives and in the arias. Elvira Bill's performance of the small role of Maria is very moving, and her duet with Markus Flaig is one of the highlights of this recording. Apparently Michael Damen sings all the smaller bass roles - although the booklet omits to tell us - and he does so convincingly. Jan Thomer sings the role of Judas, including another operatic aria (Lasst diese Tat nicht ungerochen), and James Oxley the role of Peter, and both do so beautifully. Lastly the orchestra gives excellent support to the singers and greatly contributes to the drama which unfolds.
 
There are not that many recordings of Handel's Brockes Passion. The only one I have is directed by Nicholas McGegan (originally released on Hungaroton, later reissued on Brilliant Classics). That is a quite good performance, but this new recording surpasses it. In my view it sets a new standard for every future recording of this work.
 
-- Johan van Veen, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Der für die Sünde der Welt, HWV 48 "Brockes Passion" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Markus Brutscher (Tenor), Elvira Bill (Mezzo Soprano), Jan Thomer (Alto),
Nele Gramss (Soprano), James Oxley (Tenor), Markus Flaig (Bass),
Michael Dahmen (Bass)
Conductor:  Peter Neumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Cartusianum,  Cologne Chamber Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716; Germany 

Sound Samples

Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Sinfonia: Vivace - Allegro - Adagio e staccato
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Choir: Kommet, ihr verworfnen Sunder
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Als Jesus nun zu Tische sasse (Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Accompagnato: Das ist mein Leib (Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Der Gott, dem alle Himmelskreise (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Und bald hernach (Evangelist, Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Gott selbst der Brunnquell (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Chorale: Ach, wie hungert mein Gemute (Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Drauf sagten sie dem Hochsten Dank (Evangelist, Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Chorale: Wir wollen alle eh' erblassen (Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Weil ich den Hirten schlagen werde (Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Aufs wenigste will ich (Peter, Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Mein Vater, schau wie ich (Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Mich druckt der Sunden (Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Ist's moglich, dass dein Zorn (Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Arioso: Sunder, schaut mit Furcht (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Die Pein vermehrte sich (Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Brich, mein Herz (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Ein Engel aber kam (Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Arioso: Erwachet doch! (Jesus, Peter u. a.)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Greift zu, schlagt tot (Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Gift und Glut, Strahl und Flut (Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Steck nur das Schwert (Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: O weh, sie binden ihn (Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Wo flieht ihr hin? (Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Nhmet mich mit, verzagte Scharen (Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Und Jesus ward (Evangelist, Jesus, u. a.)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Was Barentatzen, Lowenklauen (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Dies sahe Petrus an (Evangelist, Peter, u. a.)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Arioso: Ich will versinken (Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitativo: Drauf krahete der Hahn (Evangelist, Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Heul, du Schaum (Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Doch wie will ich verzweifelnd (Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Schau, ich fall' in strenger Busse (Peter)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Chorale: Ach, Gott und Herr (Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Als Jesus nun (Evangelist, Jesus, u. a.)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Erwag, ergrimmte (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Die Nacht war kaum vorbei (Evangelist, Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Meine Laster sind die Stricke (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Oh, was hab' ich, verfluchter Mensch (Judas)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Lasst diese Tat nicht ungerochen! (Judas)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Unsaglich ist mein Schmerz (Judas)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Die ihr Gottes Gnad' versaumet (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Bestrafe diesen Ubeltater (Chorus, Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Duet: Sprichst du denn (Daughter of Zion, Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Pilatus wunderte sich sich (Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Arioso: Besinne dich, Pilatus (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Arioso: Ich seh' an einen Stein gebunden (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Drum, Seele, schau (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Dem Himmel gliecht (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Die Rosen kronen (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Verwegner Dorn (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Lass doch diese herbe Schmerzen (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Die zarten Schlafen (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Jesu! Jesu (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Drauf beugten sie aus Spott (Evangelist, Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Ja, scheueten sich nicht (Evangelist, Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Besturzter Sunder (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Heil der Welt (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Wie man ihm nun genug (Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Eilt, ihr angefochten Seelen! (Daughter of Zion, Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Ach Gott, mein Sohn (Mary)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Duet: Soll mein kind (Mary, Jesus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Und er trug selbst sein Kreuz (Evangelist, Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Es scheint, da den zerkerbten Rucken (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Hier erstarrt mein Herz (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: O Anblick, o entsetzliches Gesicht! (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Chorale: O Menschenkind, nur deine Sund' (Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Sobald er nun gekreuzigt war (Evangelist, Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Wa Wunder, dass ser Sonnen Pracht (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Dies war zur neunten Stund' (Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Arioso: Mein Heiland (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Drauf lief ein Kreigsknecht hin (Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Trio: O Donnerwort! (Faithful Souls)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: O selig, wer dies glaubt (Faithful Soul, Evangelist)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Sind meiner Seelen tiefe Wunden (Daughter of Zion, u. a.)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Brich, brullender Abgrund (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Recitative: Ja, ja, es brullet schon (Faithful Soul, u. a.)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Wie kommt's, dass da der Himmel weint (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Accompagnato: Bei Jesus' Tod und Leiden (Faithful Soul)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Chorale: Mein' Sund' mich werden kranken (Chorus)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Aria: Wisch ab der Tranen scharfe Lauge (Daughter of Zion)
Der fur die Sunde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus, "Brockes Passion", HWV 48: Chorale: Ich bin ein Glied (Chorus)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Amazing Recording - Weird Sound Fragments August 25, 2012 By Clifford H C. (Thompson, MB) See All My Reviews "Handel: Brockes Passion - Peter Neumann & Collegium Cartusianum I have been looking for a recording of Brockes Passion by Handel for the longest time. When I saw this recording, I jumped at it. The reviews are excellent. The performers are all outstanding and really make this music really engaging. This is Handel at his best! There is a reason that so much of this music was reused during Handel’s lifetime. The fact that so much of the music is reused in later works should not stop you from purchasing this fine recording. When sung in German it does sound completely new (even when it is familiar). My Brockes Passion collection is almost complete and Handel’s ranks with the best. Now the problem that I have with this recording... There are some very strange sound fragments in some of the choruses. The first chorus it sound like someone is singing along under their breath (out of tune and off timing). It is hard to imagine that others who listen to this recording on good quality equipment would miss this (This means you – Sound Engineers). This is a live recording so you expect some sounds... but these should have been removed with retakes. These sound fragments are not the usual coughing, creaking, or people dropping programs. In one chorus it sounds like the music is being played back on a mono radio that is slightly out of tune at a low volumn in the background. Very strange!! Is the recording still worthwhile? Yes very much so!!! It is remarkable and engaging even with the distractions!!!!" Report Abuse
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