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Rheinberger: Geistliche Und Weltliche Chormusik / Ratzinger, Regensburg Cathedral Choir


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Ars Musici   Catalog #: 232154   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Eberhard Kraus
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a delightful collection of music, sure to please casual and serious listeners alike.

Joseph Rheinberger belongs to that large swathe of composers whom musicologists term “minor masters”. Usually well respected or even famous in their own time, for whatever reason these often prolific and highly skilled craftsmen have failed the test of time. Thanks to the seemingly endless thirst for underperformed or undiscovered works in the digital age, a number of these musicians have made a post-mortem comeback. One such composer is Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger, a man of considerable ability whose refined technique and graceful style might easily compare favourably with that of the early romantics such as Schubert and
Read more Schumann and especially Mendelssohn, a composer with whom Rheinberger shared a very similar harmonic language.
 
Choral and instrumental music shared an equal place in Rheinberger’s output. His deep personal faith is reflected in his many works for the church which include numerous motets and mass settings and a sizeable collection of pieces for the organ. His intimate knowledge of renaissance counterpoint and thorough grounding in classical forms make for a winsome combination in his compositions. Couple his taut formal structure with a delicious harmonic language and you get music that is always pleasing to the ear.
 
This performance was a pleasant surprise to these ears, ears that as a rule find men and boys choirs a bit of a chore to listen to for very long. Over the years I have found that many a cathedral choir lacks the elements that make for a good choral sound. The boys are often shrill, the men harsh and abrasive and the blend non-existent. Not so this choir which was initially established in the year 975! Truly deserving of their international reputation, this ensemble sings with a sweet and refined tone and with unanimity of sound that allows these gorgeous harmonies to ring out. This is the kind of music that is just awful if sung out of tune. With its predominance of dominant seventh harmonies and subtle shifts of tonality, one wrong turn can lead to an intonation disaster. Maestro Ratzinger shapes lovely phrases and only seldom is there a hint that a third or two might be pushed a little higher.
 
Highlights in this consistently fine recital include the lovely and contrasting Morgenlied with its joyous and sweeping melodies, and the intimately prayerful Abendlied with its text from the gospel of Luke in which the disciples implore Jesus to remain with them as the night is falling and they are afraid. Also of merit is the compact Missa Sanctissimae Trinitas, a work that is sharply contrasting to the expansive and glorious Cantus missa (not recorded here) which is scored for double choir and won the composer a special citation from the Pope.
 
Rheinberger shows the influence of Schubert and Schumann in the charming set of nature poems Waldblumen. These little songs about the birds and the flowers are quite charming indeed, but Ars Musici are most remiss in providing no translations for the texts, an inexcusable act for an international release. That little flaw notwithstanding, this is a delightful collection of music, sure to please casual and serious listeners alike.
 
-- Kevin Sutton, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Morgenlied by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Eberhard Kraus (Organ)
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: German 
2. Geistliche Gesänge (3), Op. 69: no 3, Abendlied by Joseph Rheinberger
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1873; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Warum toben die Heiden by Joseph Rheinberger
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: German 
4. Es spricht der Tor in seinem Herzen by Joseph Rheinberger
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: German 
5. Adoramus te by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Eberhard Kraus (Organ)
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6. Ave vivens hostia by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Eberhard Kraus (Organ)
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7. Salve Regina, WoO 54 no 2 by Joseph Rheinberger
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
8. Dextera Domini by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Eberhard Kraus (Organ)
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
9. Eripe me by Joseph Rheinberger
Performer:  Eberhard Kraus (Organ)
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
10. Mass in F major, Op. 117 "Sanctissimae Trinitatis" by Joseph Rheinberger
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Germany 
Length: 16 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
11. Waldblumen, Op. 124 by Joseph Rheinberger
Conductor:  Georg Ratzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Length: 18 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 

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