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Handel: Brockes Passion / Wenzinger, Stader, Jennings, Haefliger

Release Date: 06/25/2001 
Label:  The Originals   Catalog #: 463644   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  3 Hours  2 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

...The least familiar work in this issue is the “Brookes“ Passion (the second of two by Handel in that form), so-called because one Barthold Heinrich Brockes, a Hamburg dignitary, supplied the text: a dramatic poem entitled “Der für die Sünde der Welt gemarterte und sterbende Jesus.“ I can claim no fluency whatever in German, but respected critics have deplored its hyperbolic verses. Nevertheless, it was quite popular in its day. Public and private readings were common, and it was set to music not only by Keiser, Mattheson, and Telemann (even Bach set parts of it) but by a number of lesser-known composers as well. Just how, why, where (England or Germany), or when (1716, 17, 18, or 19 . . . take your choice) Handel got around to Read more it is not known for sure. (Heinz Becker, in the notes accompanying these discs, cites carelessness in prosody as evidence of haste or even that the text was set to pre-existing music, thereby favoring a later date. Unfortunately, there are similar instances in works Handel composed when he wasn't rushed.) We don't have the original score which is lost, and Chrysander had to depend on early (and conflicting) copies for his edition.

It's a longish work running a minute or two over three hours and apparently intended to be performed without intermission. Its core is, as expected, a paraphrase of the Gospels, to which Brockes added a number of characters, the most prominent being The Daughter of Zion (beautifully sung by Stader) and a quartette of Gläubige Seelen, all of whom, singly or together, comment from time to time on the action. The burden of the narrative falls to the Evangelist, but, in operatic fashion, some scenes proceed as dialogue in recitative (e.g., Jesus' meetings with Caiaphas and Pilate, the three servants accusing Peter of following Christ, which he denies, etc.). The score doesn't number the musical sections, but the libretto, which does, lists 56 vocal numbers, not counting some 50 intervening recitatives. Most are brief but some have multiple verses or are in da capo form (the singers do not ornament their arias but the oboe does during The Daughter of Zion's, “Sünder, schaut mit Furcht“), and although Wen-zinger tries not to dawdle (he has little choice in some passages) the work wears out its welcome well before its end.

Wenzinger and his choral and instrumental forces are nothing short of superb, while Stader and Jennings, the latter rather unexpectedly given the star names in the cast, walk off with the solo vocal honors. Haefliger is better as the Evangelist, whose recitatives he declaims freely and with exquisite taste, than as one of the Believers, huff-puffing his way through the aria “Erwäg', ergrimmte Natterbrut.“ Adam starts off gruffly and seems more hidebound by stave bars in recitatives than Haefliger, but his arias and his duet with Mary are sung with power and warmth. The latter role isn't very large or musically interesting, but what she is given to do, Moser does well enough. Esswood is more successful as a Believer than in his other roles which are not at all characterized or even differentiated. There is a slight echo-y quality to the recorded sound (was it recorded in the Regensburg Cathedral?) which is not at all disturbing. In fact, I rather like it. This is by no means a long-neglected masterpiece, but even minor Handel is well worth having, and I doubt a better performance of it will come along on disc very soon. The recording, if not the work, is certainly recommended...

-- Anthony D. Coggi, FANFARE [11/1985]
reviewing this recording reissued as DG 413922 Read less

Works on This Recording

Brockes-passion, HWV48 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jerry J Jennings (Tenor), Edda Moser (Soprano), Theo Adam (Bass-baritone),
Paul Esswood (Alto), Ernst Haefliger (Tenor), Maria Stader (Soprano),
Jakob Stämpfli (Bass)
Conductor:  August Wenzinger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Cantorum Basiliensis Choir,  Regensburg Cathedral Choir
Written: 1717 
Date of Recording: 1967 

Sound Samples

The "Brockes" Passion: Sinfonia
The "Brockes" Passion: 1. "Mich vom Stricke meiner Sünden zu entbinden"
The "Brockes" Passion: "Als Jesus nun zu Tische saß" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 2. "Das ist mein Leib: kommt, nehmet, esset" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 3. "Der Gott, dem alle Himmelskreise" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Und bald hernach nahm er den Kelch" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 4. "Das ist mein Blut im neuen Testament" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 3a. "Gott selbst, der Brunnquell alles Guten" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: 5. "Ach, wie hungert mein Gemüte"
The "Brockes" Passion: Die Nacht war kaum vorbei (Evangelist, Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Drauf sagten sie dem Höchsten Dank" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 24. "Meine Laster sind die Stricke" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: 6. "Wir wollen alle eh' erblassen"
The "Brockes" Passion: "O, was hab' ich verfluchter Mensch getan!" (Judas)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Es ist gewiß" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 25. "Laßt diese Tat nicht ungerochen" (Judas)
The "Brockes" Passion: 7. "Weil ich den Hirten schlagen werde" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Zum wenigsten will ich" (Petrus, Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Unsäglich ist mein Schmerz" (Judas)
The "Brockes" Passion: 26. "Die ihr Gottes Gnad' versäumet" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: 8. "Mein Vater, mein Vater! Schau wie ich mich quäle" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Mich drückt der Sünden Zentnerlast" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Wie nun Pilatus Jesum fragt" (Evangelist, Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 8a. "Ist's möglich, ist's möglich, daß dein Zorn sich stille" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 27. "Bestrafe diesen Übeltäter"
The "Brockes" Passion: "Hast du denn kein Gehör?" (Pilatus, Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 9. "Sünder, schaut mit Furcht und Zagen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Die Pein vermehrte sich" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 28. "Sprichst du denn auf dies Verklagen" (Tochter Zion, Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 10. "Brich, mein Herz, zerfließ in Tränen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Ein Engel aber kam"(Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 11. "Erwachet doch!" (Johannes, Jakobus, Petrus, Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Und eh' die Rede noch geendigt war" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 12. "Greift zu, schlagt tot"
The "Brockes" Passion: "Und der Verräter" (Evangelist, Judas)
The "Brockes" Passion: 13. "Er soll uns nicht entlaufen"
The "Brockes" Passion: "Nimm, Rabbi, diesen Kuß von mir" (Judas, Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 14. "Gift und Glut" (Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Steck nur das Schwert an seinen Ort" (Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 15. "O weh, sie binden ihn mit Strick und Ketten"
The "Brockes" Passion: "Wo flieht ihr hin?" (Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 16. "Nehmt mich mit, verzagte Scharen" (Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Und Jesus ward" (Evangelist, Caiphas, Jesus, ein Kriegsknecht)
The "Brockes" Passion: 17. "Was Bärentatzen, Löwenklauen trotz ihrer Wut sich nicht getrauen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: Dies sah Petrus an (Evangelist, 1. Magd, Petrus, 2. Magd, 3. Magd)
The "Brockes" Passion: 18. "Ich will versinken und vergehn" (Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Drauf krähete der Hahn" (Evangelist, Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 19. "Weh dem Fluch" (Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Doch wie, soll ich verzweiflend untergeht?" (Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 20. "Schau, ich fall' in strenger Buße" (Petrus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 21. "Ach, Gott und Herr"
The "Brockes" Passion: "Als Jesus nun" (Evangelist, Caiphas, Jesus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 22. "Er hat den Tod verdient"
The "Brockes" Passion: 23. "Erwäg, ergrimmte Natternbrut" (Gläubige Seele, Tenore)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Pilatus wunderte sich sehr" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 29. "Nein, diesen nicht" (Coro) "Was fang ich denn mit eurem ungekrönten König an?~(Pil
The "Brockes" Passion: 30. "Weg, weg, weg! Laß ihn kreuzigen" (Coro) "Was hat er denn getan?" (Pilatus)
The "Brockes" Passion: 31. "Weg, weg, weg! Laß ihn kreuzigen!"(Coro) "Wie er nun sah" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 32. "Besinne dich, Pilatus" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Drauf zerreten die Kriegsknecht ihn hinein" (Evang.)
The "Brockes" Passion: 33. "Ich seh' an einen Stein gebunden" (Gläubige Seele, Soprano)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Drum, Seele, schau" (Gläubige Seele, Sopran)
The "Brockes" Passion: 34. "Dem Himmel gleicht sein buntgefärbter Rücken" (Gläubige Seele, Soprano)
The "Brockes" Passion: Wie nun das Blut in Strömen von ihm rann (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 35. "Die Rosen krönen sonst der rauhen Dornen Spitzen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Verwegner Dorn, grausame Spitzen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: 36. "Laß doch diese herbe Schmerzen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Die zarten Schläfen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: 37. "Jesu!Jesu, dich mit unsern Seelen zu vermählen" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: Drauf beugten sie aus Spoot vor ihm die Knie (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 38. "Ein jeder sei ihm untertänig"
The "Brockes" Passion: "Ja, scheueten sich nicht" (Evanglelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: 39. "Schäumest du, du Schaum der Welt!" (Tochter Zion)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Worauf sie mit dem Rohr" (Evangelist)
The "Brockes" Passion: "Bestürzter Sünder, nimm in acht" (Tochter Zion)

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