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Lost Music Of Early America - The Moravians / Pearlman, Etc


Release Date: 09/29/1998 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80482   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  AnonymousJohann Friedrich PeterJeremiah DenckeDavid Moritz Michael,   ... 
Performer:  Sharon BakerCyndia SiedenMartin Pearlman
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston BaroqueBoston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A fascinating sound document of a religious tradition which is hardly known.

The music on this disc is by composers who hardly ever appear on any concert programme. The main reason is that they wrote music for religious communities and this kind of music is not welcome on today's concert platforms. On the second disc Martin Pearlman expresses his regret that this repertoire is so little known as it is an important part of the American cultural heritage. If one listens to the music one has to add that most of it is of such a quality that its neglect is also regrettable from a strictly musical point of view. Most of the pieces may be relatively simple but in their simplicity they are full of expression.

The
Read more music performed here was written and used in the Moravian community in America. This community's roots go back as far as the 15th century, as in Bohemia Jan Hus sought reforms of the church of his day, so did Martin Luther about a century later. He and his followers were severely persecuted and Hus himself was burnt in 1415. Later that century his followers founded a new church, 'The Unity of Brethren'. In the 17th century this church was heavily persecuted during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and for years afterwards. In the early 18th century survivors of the persecutions found sanctuary on the estate of the Saxon nobleman Nikolaus von Zinzendorf. Here they organised the church again and from the 1730s started extensive missionary activities in the New World. The Moravian communities which were the result of this were based in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Music always played an important role in these communities: not just religious music, but also instrumental music and large-scale vocal works. Some of Haydn's symphonies and his oratorio The Creation were given their first American performances in the Moravian communities.

The music on the present disc is mainly organised around three so-called 'Lovefeasts'. The 'Liebesmahl', as the original German term is, was a kind of special service, which consisted mainly of music, with a fellowship meal. Here three of the most important feasts are represented: Christmas, Lent and Thanksgiving. The music consists of usually rather short pieces, mostly written or arranged specifically for the Moravian community, either by professional musicians or by pastors and bishops. The texts are either in German or in English, and some pieces - in particular the hymns - date from the 16th century. The scoring is mostly for choir and instruments, but some contain solo parts, and there is even music for double choir.

Most composers represented here may be hardly known today, some of them were professional musicians and also wrote non-religious music. One of the most prolific composers was Johann Friedrich Peter, who was born in the Netherlands and educated in Germany, and who came to America in 1770, bringing with him a large number of compositions by European composers. He composed string quartets which are among the earliest chamber music written in America. Another professional composer was David Moritz Michael, who was born in Germany and joined the Moravian church at the age of 30. He is thought to have directed the first performance of Haydn's oratorio The Creation in America. Johannes Herbst also deserved to be mentioned, as he not only composed hundreds of pieces, but also copied over one thousand works by other composers. These copies are one of the main sources for this recording.

Performances of relatively simple (liturgical) music by professional musicians can very easily go very wrong. Any artificiality and any virtuosity are totally out of place in this context. I am full of admiration for the artists who perform the Moravian repertoire here. They are able to keep it simple and fully concentrate on communicating the religious spirit of the music. At the same time it is important that this repertoire gets excellent performances, which reflect the high quality of music-making in the Moravian communities of the 18th century. Only through top-notch performances and the use of period instruments and performing techniques will the real character and full quality of these compositions be revealed.

The booklet contains informative programme notes and the lyrics, with an English translation of the German texts. I recommend that you listen to the spoken explanation by Martin Pearlman on the second disc, with musical illustrations.

This is a fascinating sound document of a religious tradition which is otherwise hardly known. It is also a fine tribute to the faith and art of the Moravian communities in America, and I sincerely hope their music will be further explored in the future.

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

1.
Freuen wir uns by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Medieval 
Written: 16th Century 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
2.
Der Herr ist mein Theil by Johann Friedrich Peter
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
3.
Meine Seele erhebet dem Herrn by Jeremiah Dencke
Performer:  Sharon Baker (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1767; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
4.
Es ist ein köstlich Ding by Johann Friedrich Peter
Performer:  Cyndia Sieden (Soprano), Sharon Baker (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
5.
Join we all with one accord by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Medieval 
Written: 16th Century 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: English 
6.
Hail Infant newborn by David Moritz Michael
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: English 
7.
Loveliest Immanuel by John Antes
Performer:  Cyndia Sieden (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: English 
8.
Ich will euch wie ein Thau seyn by Simon Peter
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
9.
Thou Child Divine by Johann Abraham P. Schulz
Performer:  Sharon Baker (Soprano), Cyndia Sieden (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 18th Century; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: English 
10.
Zeige mir dein Angesicht by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
11.
Heiliger Herre Gott by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
12.
Ach Schönster unter allen by Johann P. Kellner
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
Notes: Arranged: Christian Gregor (1783) 
13.
Suchet sein Antlitz by Johannes Herbst
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
14.
Die mit Thränen säen by John Gambold
Performer:  Cyndia Sieden (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
15.
Lob Gott getrost mit Singen by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Medieval 
Written: 16th Century 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
16.
O lieblicher Heiland, du mein Versöhner by Johann Christian Geisler
Performer:  Sharon Baker (Soprano), Cyndia Sieden (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
17.
Gesegnet bist du, sein Volk by Jeremiah Dencke
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
18.
Ich gehe einher in der Kraft des Herrn by Johannes Herbst
Performer:  Sharon Baker (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
19.
Herz und Herz vereint zusammen by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
20.
Kommt, danket dem Helden by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
21.
Das ist ein Tag by Christian Gregor
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
22.
Ich will immer harren by Johann Friedrich Peter
Performer:  Cyndia Sieden (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
23.
Ich danke Dir ewiglich by Johann Friedrich Peter
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
24.
Die Frucht des Geistes ist Liebe by Johann Christian Geisler
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
25.
O Sing, all ye Redeemed by Georg Gottfried Müller
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: English 
26.
Meine Herz dichtet ein feines Lied by Jeremiah Dencke
Performer:  Cyndia Sieden (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
27.
Siehe meine Knechte by Simon Peter
Performer:  Sharon Baker (Soprano)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
28.
Ich will dir ein Freudenopfer thun by Johann Friedrich Peter
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: German 
29.
Sing hallelujah, praise the Lord! by John Christian Bechler
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Romantic 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
Language: English 
30.
Herr und Älster deiner Kreuzgemeine by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
31.
Jesus makes my heart rejoice by Anonymous
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1740; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 
32.
Rondo for Piano by John Gambold
Performer:  Martin Pearlman (Fortepiano)
Period: Classical 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts 

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