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Nicolaus Bruhns: Das Kantatenwerk

Bruhns / Feldman / Bowman / Egmond
Release Date: 03/09/2010 
Label:  Ricercar   Catalog #: 291   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nicolaus BruhnsLudwig Busbetzky
Performer:  James BowmanGreta de ReyghèreGuy de MeyMax van Egmond,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 31 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BRUHNS Cantatas. BUSBETZKY Cantata, Erbarm dich mein Greta de Reyghere (sop); Jill Feldmann (sop); James Bowman (ct); Guy de Mey (ten); Ian Honeyman (ten); Max van Egmond (bs); Ricercar Ens (period instruments) RICERCAR 291 (2 CDs: 151:04 Text and Translation)


Cantatas Hemmt eure Tränenflut; Jauchzet dem Herren aller Welt; Wohl dem, Read more der den Herren fürchtet; De profundis clamavi; Paratum cor meum; O werter heil’ger Geist; Die Zeit meines Abschieds; Erstanden ist der heilige Christ; Der Herr hat seinen Stuhl im Himmel bereitet; Ich liege und schlafe; Mein Herz ist bereit; Muss nicht der Mensch


Chances are that if you’ve heard of Nicholas Bruhns (1665–97) at all, it is in conjunction with the Christmas season and perhaps only through his copious organ music or the virtuoso cantata Jauchzet dem Herren . Chances are also good that one has not heard of his colleague Ludwig Busbetzky at all, particularly since he spent almost all of his life in the Hanseatic city of Narva (now in Estonia). Both were favorite students of Didrik (Dietrich) Buxtehude and both came from musical families. As such, they were destined, or perhaps predestined, to follow in their fathers’ footsteps in providing the sort of music favored in Lutheran churches on the northern periphery. Bruhns finished off his training in Lübeck and promptly went north, where he lived in Copenhagen for several years before obtaining the post of organist at Husum, while his colleague went back to his northern Baltic roots in a much-fought-over patch of land close to Russia. Despite their provincial positions, both composers somehow attained some recognition for their music; Johann Mattheson proclaimed Bruhns a master of polyphonic writing and performance, while Busbetzky’s works find an echo in, among other things, J. S. Bach’s chorale prelude Erbarm dich, BWV 721, leading one to believe that both were far better known during their time than history might suggest.


Among the works written by these two composers were the latest form of church compositions, the sacred cantata, which combined an expressive musical exegesis of the chorale tune of the day, generally for solo voices accompanied by a small group of strings and an organ continuo. These included the occasional woodwind (probably substituting for one of the strings), as well as the odd trumpet or two. Strangely enough, these early works differentiate themselves by rarely employing the actual chorale melody, being more independently composed. Indeed, in this set, only the final movement of the Bruhns cantata Hemmt eure Tränenflut uses the chorale at all, and this only as the subject for a fugal Amen. This in and of itself contrasts with the later Baroque practice of making these congregational hymns the central point of the cantata.


This disc presents the complete cantatas of Bruhns in a single set, as the notes state, as a historical collection. Like the works of many early composers of this genre, the number is not large, but too big to fit on one disc. The folks at Ricercar thus provided an addition, the Busbetzky cantata, which serves to fill out the time for two discs. While strictly speaking this may seem gratuitous, the style of this work is so similar that it complements the Bruhns works nicely. And with little possibility that any of these might be recorded again in the future, it is good to have this as a compendium, even if no one has ever heard of Busbetzky before. In all of these, one can immediately hear Buxtehude’s influence in the weaving vocal lines, the sedate use of the accompaniment to support the voice, and the smoothly flowing counterpoint of this late 17th-century music. It is stuff that immediately entices one into a world of intricate and well-crafted music. Bruhns may adhere to the style of his teacher, but that doesn’t stop him from offering more anachronistic-sounding works. In the cantata O werter heil’ger Geist , for example, each of the short arias is set off by a refrain featuring a pair of trumpets. This is an echo of the ritornello used as far back as Monteverdi, and its use here can be traced via one of the Italian composer’s colleagues and friends, Heinrich Schütz. Bruhns then uses these same instruments to support the choral refrains in his cantata Muss nicht der Mensch . He often thickens the inner textures of the strings with pairs of gambas, which blends nicely with the solo voices.


As usual, the performances on this set are first-rate. Accurate from a performance-practice standpoint, they are nonetheless in tune, and the articulation of both the voices and instruments finely nuanced. This in turn lends a certain solidity that is both listenable and archival, a rare combination. For example, in the Jauchzet dem Herren , one might find the earlier performance by soprano Julianne Baird on Centaur more exciting, especially since the instrumental part includes an oboe line that blends well with her voice, but this in no way diminishes the more subtle version done by tenor Guy de Mey, which is replete with the carefully controlled coloratura required of this tortuous vocal line. And, of course, the oboe is not originally in the Bruhns. The voices intertwine extremely nicely in the motet Die Zeit meines Abschieds ist vorhanden , not quite contrapuntal or strictly imitative, but certainly florid. The Busbetzky fits in nicely with the ambience of the Bruhns. In the sinfonia of his cantata the insistent harmonic patterns set the stage for the alternation between van Egmond and de Reyghere, whose clear vibratoless tones match the subtle variations of the string core. If one is looking for exciting, vibrant music, this disc is not for you, but if you are a fan of subtlety and contemplation you should look no further.


While the booklet notes are well written and informative, I do have an objection to the way the texts of the cantatas are presented. Although they are in German with English and French translations, these are done in paragraph fashion (one text per language) and terribly confusing to anyone who wishes to follow along with the libretto. Still, given the quality of this recording, such a quibble is to be overlooked. If you are at all a fan of late 17th-century German music and want something that goes beyond Schütz or Buxtehude, then these cantatas are indispensible.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1.
Hemmt eure Tränenflut by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  James Bowman (), Greta de Reyghère (), Guy de Mey (),
Max van Egmond ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
2.
Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Guy de Mey ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
3.
Woll dem, der den Herren fürchtet by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Jill Feldman (), Max van Egmond (), Greta de Reyghère ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4.
De profundis clamavi by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Max van Egmond ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1689-91; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 12 Minutes 24 Secs. 
5.
Paratum cor meum by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Guy de Mey (), Max van Egmond (), Ian Honeyman ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
6.
O Werter Heilger Geist, sacred madrigal cantata for 4 voices, instruments & continuo by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Greta de Reyghère (), Guy de Mey (), James Bowman ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 0 Minutes 54 Secs. 
7.
Die Zeit meines Abschieds ist vorhanden by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Greta de Reyghère (), James Bowman (), Max van Egmond (),
Guy de Mey ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 6 Minutes 56 Secs. 
8.
Erstanden Ist der Heilige Christ by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Ian Honeyman (), Guy de Mey ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 9 Minutes 0 Secs. 
9.
Der Herr hat seinen Stuhl im Himmel bereitet by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Max van Egmond ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?1689-91; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 7 Minutes 30 Secs. 
10.
Ich liege und schlafe by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  James Bowman (), Max van Egmond (), Guy de Mey (),
Greta de Reyghère ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
11.
Mein Herz Ist Bereit, sacred concerto for voice, violin & continuo by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  Max van Egmond ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
12.
Muss nicht der Mensch auff dieser Erden in steten Streite seyn by Nicolaus Bruhns
Performer:  James Bowman (), Max van Egmond (), Guy de Mey (),
Greta de Reyghère ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Germany 
Venue:  Réfectoire des moines de l'Abbaye de Sta 
Length: 4 Minutes 13 Secs. 
13.
Erbarm dich mein, cantata for 4 voices, strings & continuo by Ludwig Busbetzky
Performer:  James Bowman (), Guy de Mey (), Greta de Reyghère ()
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 09/1990 
Venue:  Bolland, Église Saint-Apollinaire 
Length: 17 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Hemmt eure Trahnenfluht: Hemmt eure Tranenflut
Hemmt eure Trahnenfluht: Der Stein war allzu gross
Hemmt eure Trahnenfluht: Die Christi Grab bewacht
Hemmt eure Trahnenfluht: Verlass ich gleich die Welt
Hemmt eure Trahnenfluht: Amen
Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt
Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt: Erkennet, dass der Herre Gott ist
Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt: Danket ihm, lobet seinen Namen!
Woll dem, der den Herren furchtet: Wohl dem, der den Herren furchtet
Woll dem, der den Herren furchtet: Dein Weib wird sein
Woll dem, der den Herren furchtet: Siehe also wird gesegner der Mann
Woll dem, der den Herren furchtet: Der Herr wird dich segnen
Woll dem, der den Herren furchtet: Amen
De profundis clamavi
Alleluja. Paratum cor meum: Paratum cor meum
Alleluja. Paratum cor meum: Confitebor tibi in populis
Alleluja. Paratum cor meum: Exaltare
O werter heilger Geist: Sinfonia
O werter heilger Geist: O werter heil' ger Geist
O werter heilger Geist: Sinfonia
O werter heilger Geist: Dein unvergleichlich Licht
O werter heilger Geist: Sinfonia
O werter heilger Geist: Entzund' in meiner Brust
O werter heilger Geist: Sinfonia
O werter heilger Geist: Wenn mein Gewissen zagt
O werter heilger Geist: Sinfonia
O werter heilger Geist: O werter heil' ger Geist
Die Zeit meines Abschieds ist vorhanden
Erstanden ist der heilige Christ
Der Herr hat seinen Stuhl im Himmel bereitet
Ich liege und schlaffe
Ich liege und schlaffe: Ich hab, Gottlob, das mein Vollbracht
Ich liege und schlaffe: In Jesu Namen schlaf ich ein
Ich liege und schlaffe: In Jesu Namen fahr ich hin
Ich liege und schlaffe: Ich liege und schlafe
Mein Herz ist bereit: Sonatina
Mein Herz ist bereit
Mein Herz ist bereit: Herr, ich will dir danken
Muss nicht der Mensch auff dieser Erden im steten Streite seyn: Sinfonia -
Muss nicht der Mensch auff dieser Erden im steten Streite seyn: Sind wir gelangt zu sich Furcht
Muss nicht der Mensch auff dieser Erden im steten Streite seyn: Lauf! unser Lebenslauf zu Ende
Muss nicht der Mensch auff dieser Erden im steten Streite seyn: Doch wer sich tapfer halt
Muss nicht der Mensch auff dieser Erden im steten Streite seyn: Ach, aber ach!
Erbarm dich mein: Sinfonia
Erbarm dich mein
Erbarm dich mein: Kehre wieder
Erbarm dich mein: Die Sunden sind, die ich getan
Erbarm dich mein: Darum so bekehret euch
Erbarm dich mein: O Vater der Barmherzigkeit
Erbarm dich mein: Eroffne mir dein freundlich Herz

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