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Melchior Franck: Busspsalmen (1615) / Cordes, Weser Renaissance


Release Date: 03/25/2008 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777181   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Melchior Franck
Performer:  William DongoisMarnix De CatJob BoswinkelJulia Veto,   ... 
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

First recordings of the seven Penitential Psalms - splendid performances.

Melchior Franck was one of many German composers whose life and career were severely affected by the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). He was born in Zittau as son of a painter, where he may have studied under Christoph Demantius. Little is known for sure about the early stages of his career, but around 1600 he was a member of the choir of St Anna Church in Augsburg. Here he may have been a pupil of Adam Gumpelzhaimer, Christian Erbach and Hans-Leo Hassler. The connection with Hassler seems without much doubt: both went to Nuremberg in 1601, and
Read more Franck's oeuvre shows the influence of Hassler. On the one hand there is the style of the Franco-Flemish school which Hassler had inherited from his teacher Leonhard Lechner; on the other hand Franck made use of the antiphonal style of the Gabrielis which Hassler had studied in Venice.

In 1602 or 1603 Franck became Kapellmeister of Duke Johann Casimir of Saxe-Coburg who was a great music-lover. It was here that the Thirty Years War impinged on Franck's life. In the 1630s the city and its surroundings were destroyed and the economy ruined. Moreover the Duke died in 1633 and Franck himself lost his wife and two children. The new Duke, Johann Ernst, was less passionate about music and was also forced to take drastic measures to restore the economy. The court chapel was much reduced, and so was Franck's salary. He died poverty-stricken in 1639.

Franck was a very productive composer. Between 1601 and 1636 forty collections of motets were printed. His oeuvre also shows a wide variety of genres: sacred music on Latin and German texts, occasional compositions, secular vocal music and instrumental music. In his vocal music Franck pays much attention to the text, and in this respect he points in the direction of Heinrich Schütz. But Franck's works are mostly rooted in the 'prima prattica': only in the latest stage of his career did he write music with a basso continuo part.

In 1615 Franck published his 'Threnodiae Davidicae', or "Penitential Psalms of the Royal Prophet David". It consists of the seven Penitential Psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) for six voices. Every setting is divided into a number of motets: two in Psalms 6, 130 and 143, three in Psalms 32, 38 and 51, and five in Psalm 102. Many composers of the renaissance composed a complete cycle of Penitential Psalms, the best-known of them being Orlandus Lassus.

The Penitential Psalms - and penitence in general - were an important part of the theological thinking of Martin Luther. His German translation of the Penitential Psalms was his first independently published work and dates from 1517. Probably to underline this importance Franck makes use of this text for his settings of the Penitential Psalms, making sure everyone would be able to understand their meaning. It could well be that the consistent use of the full six voices - only twice Franck reduces the number of voices, which was quite common at the time - is also a way to emphasize the importance of these Psalms.

As the playing time of every single Psalm shows, these settings are rather concise. This is achieved by using a homo-rhythmic and declamatory style, whereas in the shorter Psalms Franck makes use of longer melismatic phrases. There are several examples of fine text illustration. In Psalm 38 the tempo is speeded up on "denn deine Pfeile stecken in mir" (for your arrows pierc me) whereas long-held notes are used for "schwere Last" (heavy burden). "Ich gehe krumm und sehr gebückt" (I walk crooked and bowed down low) is set to a descending figure. A shift in metre is used for "daß die Gebeine fröhlich werden" (that the bones ... may be glad).

The performance pays tribute to what was common practice at the time as both voices and instruments are used. The instruments either play 'colla parte' or replace the voices. The instruments used here are cornetto muto, four viole da gamba, dulcian and harp. The singers are well suited to their task: they sing with great clarity and the delivery of the text is readily understandable. The lines are beautifully shaped and there is a fine dynamic shading which is fully appropriate to the music of this time. The voices blend well and the balance with the instruments is also satisfying.

I found the beginning of Psalm 102 somewhat hesitant; but perhaps that was deliberate, considering the text: "Lord, hear my prayer". Marnix De Cat has a very fine voice, but here he seems at times to feel a bit uncomfortable, probably because his part in the score is a little lower than what suits him best. One could also argue Jan Van Elsacker's voice is sometimes a little too edgy. These are however very minor details in what is a splendid recording of a collection of pieces which has never before been recorded. The quality of these Psalms is first-rate and they suggest Melchior Franck's music is unjustly neglected. More recordings of his oeuvre in performances like this would definitely be welcome.

The booklet contains concise programme notes by Manfred Cordes, the English translation of which is sometimes less than precise. In the translation also some lines from the German text have been omitted. The lyrics are printed with an English translation.

-- Johan van Veen, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 1, Ach Herr, straff mich night in deinem Zorn by Melchior Franck
Performer:  William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto), Job Boswinkel (Bass),
Julia Veto (Viola da gamba), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Birgit Bahr (Dulcian),
Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), Monika Mauch (Soprano),
Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
2.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 2, Ich bin so müd vom Seufftzen by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor), Margit Schultheiss (Harp),
Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor), Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba),
William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto), Job Boswinkel (Bass),
Julia Veto (Viola da gamba), Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Birgit Bahr (Dulcian),
Manja Stephan (Soprano)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
3.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 3, Wol dem, dem die Übertrettung vergeben sind by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
4.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 4, Darumb bekenn ich dir meine Sünde by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 5, Ich will dich unterweisen by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 6, Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 30 Secs. 
7.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 7, Herr, für dir ist all mein Begierd by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
8.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 8, Ich aber muß sein ein Tauber by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 47 Secs. 
9.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 9, Gott sey mir gnädig nach deiner Güte by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
10.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 10, Verbirg dein Antlitz von meinen Sünden by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
11.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 11, Herr, thu meine Lippen auff by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
12.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 12, Herr, höre mein Gebet by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
13.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 13, Denn ich esse Aschen wie Brodt by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
14.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 14, Denn deine Knechte wolten gern by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
15.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 15, Denn er schawet von seiner heilgen Höhe by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
16.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 16, Du hast vorhin die Erde gegründet by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
17.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 17, Auß der Tieffen ruff ich, Herr, zu dir by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
18.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 18, Denn bey dir ist die Vergebung by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba), William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto),
Job Boswinkel (Bass), Manja Stephan (Soprano), Julia Veto (Viola da gamba),
Birgit Bahr (Dulcian)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
19.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 19, Herr, erhöre mein Gebet by Melchior Franck
Performer:  Julia Veto (Viola da gamba), Birgit Bahr (Dulcian), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba),
Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor), Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano),
Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor), William Dongois (Zink), Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba),
Manja Stephan (Soprano), Marnix De Cat (Alto), Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba),
Job Boswinkel (Bass)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
20.
Penetential Psalms (20) "Threnodiae Davidicae": no 20, Ich breyte Hände auß zu dir by Melchior Franck
Performer:  William Dongois (Zink), Marnix De Cat (Alto), Job Boswinkel (Bass),
Julia Veto (Viola da gamba), Birgit Bahr (Dulcian), Manja Stephan (Soprano),
Juliane Laake (Viola da gamba), Frauke Hess (Viola da gamba), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor),
Margit Schultheiss (Harp), Monika Mauch (Soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (Tenor),
Barbara Hofmann (Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Renaissance 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Psalm 6, "Ach Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn": Ach Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn
Psalm 6, "Ach Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn": Ich bin so mud vom Seufftzen
Psalm 32, "Wol dem, dem die Ubertrettung vergeben sind": Wol dem, dem die Ubertrettung vergeben sind
Psalm 32, "Wol dem, dem die Ubertrettung vergeben sind": Darumb bekenn ich dir meine Sunde
Psalm 32, "Wol dem, dem die Ubertrettung vergeben sind": Ich will dich unterweisen
Psalm 38, "Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn": Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn
Psalm 38, "Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn": Herr, fur dir ist all mein Begierd
Psalm 38, "Herr, straff mich nicht in deinem Zorn": Ich aber muss sein ein Tauber
Psalm 51, "Gott sey mir gnadig nach deiner Gute": Gott sey mir gnadig nach deiner Gute
Psalm 51, "Gott sey mir gnadig nach deiner Gute": Verbirg dein Antlitz von meinen Sunden
Psalm 51, "Gott sey mir gnadig nach deiner Gute": Herr, thu meine Lippen auff
Psalm 102, "Herr, hore mein Gebet": Herr, hore mein Gebet
Psalm 102, "Herr, hore mein Gebet": Denn ich esse Aschen wie Brodt
Psalm 102, "Herr, hore mein Gebet": Denn deine Knechte wolten gern
Psalm 102, "Herr, hore mein Gebet": Denn er schawet von seiner heilgen Hohe
Psalm 102, "Herr, hore mein Gebet": Du hast vorhin die Erde gegrundet
Psalm 130, "Auss der Tieffen ruff ich, Herr, zu dir": Auss der Tieffen ruff ich, Herr, zu dir
Psalm 130, "Auss der Tieffen ruff ich, Herr, zu dir": Denn bey dir ist die Vergebung
Psalm 143, "Herr, erhore mein Gebet": Herr, erhore mein Gebet
Psalm 143, "Herr, erhore mein Gebet": Ich breyte Hande auss zu dir

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