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The Seasons In Zurich / Ford, Purcell Singers, Et Al

Release Date: 06/24/2003 
Label:  Guild   Catalog #: 7255   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes SchmidlinHans-Jakob OttJohann Caspar Bachofen
Performer:  Gareth DeatsFred JacobsRobert Howarth
Conductor:  Mark Ford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Singers
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Zurich Reformation resulted in instrumental music being banned in all churches until the early 1800s. This by no means led to a dearth of music-making, but made the private house for many years the principal venue for playing and hearing music; the works composed in Zurich until the mid-1700s were accordingly small in scale. Zurich was at that time a town of only some 10000 inhabitants, but in cultural terms it was of considerable significance, playing a major role in the propagation of the ideas of the Enlightenment. It also had a vogue for English literature. A translation of Milton's Paradise Lost was published in Zurich in 1732, and it did not take long for one of the latest bestsellers to reach Zurich: The Seasons by the Scottish Read more author James Thomson (1700-1748), first published complete in London in 1730. A selection from Spring was published in Hamburg in 1740, in a German translation by the poet Barthold Heinrich Brockes (1680-1747), who five years later brought out a translation of the whole work. The work of Brockes also became very popular in Zurich in the mid-18th century. His Earthly Pleasures was even brought out in a four-volume edition in Zurich between 1740 and 1757. Its first volume, published in 1740, included many musical settings by Johann Caspar Bachofen, cantor of the main cathedral in Zurich and at the time the dominant figure in Zurich musical life. The attraction of the seasons as subject matter for Bachofen, Ott and Schmidlin is a symptom of a subtle shift that was taking place, away from the purely devotional, to a more rational view of natural phenomena. Their compositions might glorify God, but their origin lies not in mere piety, but rather in the fascination of the seasons as God's engine that drives the world. The fact that three composers in a single city should, within a space of twenty-one years, devote themselves to a musical depiction of the season might seem of little importance. However, they do in their own way reflect the intellectual interests and passions that ruled Zurich in the mid-18th century. Read less

Works on This Recording

Hymnus auf die Allmacht "Weissheit und Gute Gottes" by Johannes Schmidlin
Performer:  Gareth Deats (Cello), Fred Jacobs (Theorbo), Robert Howarth (Organ)
Conductor:  Mark Ford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Singers
Period: Baroque 
Written: Switzerland 
Die Jahreszeiten by Hans-Jakob Ott
Performer:  Fred Jacobs (Theorbo), Robert Howarth (Organ), Gareth Deats (Cello)
Conductor:  Mark Ford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Singers
Period: Baroque 
Written: Switzerland 
Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott by Johann Caspar Bachofen
Performer:  Fred Jacobs (Theorbo), Gareth Deats (Cello), Robert Howarth (Organ)
Conductor:  Mark Ford
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Purcell Singers
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1740; Switzerland 

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