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De Aeternitate / Mena, Pierlot, Ricercar Consort


Release Date: 03/09/2004 
Label:  Mirare   Catalog #: 9911   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Christoph BachChristoph BernhardChristian GeistJohann Michael Bach,   ... 
Performer:  Carlos MenaPhilippe Pierlot
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This very well performed and recorded program offers 10 rarely heard solo cantatas and other sacred vocal pieces from several significant German baroque composers. Since the general tone of these works reflects themes of "mourning, sorrow, and lamentation", listeners should be prepared for a rather somber 67 minutes, albeit faithfully encompassing the most authentic expressive mannerisms in this favored Baroque artistic realm. Most of the pieces display beautiful melodies as a matter of course, but none is more poignant than Johann Fischer's in the cantata Klag-Gedicht, an intensely moving "evocation of a Christian's death and resurrection". The simple, mostly chordal style of the accompaniment gives focus to tune and Read more text, and the setting proves an inspired creation that calls out for repeated hearings. Christian Geist's O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid exemplifies the common Baroque practice of word-painting, effectively using chromatic devices to help us feel the "sadness" (Traurigkeit) and "heartfelt pain" (Herzeleid) of Christ's death.


Carlos Mena is a world-class singer, one of today's premier countertenors whose affinity for this music is clear from the very first lines in Johann Christoph Bach's lament Ach daß ich Wassers g'nug hätte. So artful is his expression and so technically sure is his delivery that we need not know the meaning of the text (which is about tears and sorrow) to understand its sentiment. Of course, as mentioned above, the mood--as well as the dynamic and vocal range--is unvarying and as such takes its toll on your attention after the first 30 minutes or so. Further, Mena's voice, although very lovely, seems to have acquired a quivery edge that I did not detect on his earlier solo recital for Naïve (type Q6055 in Search Reviews).


The pieces by a couple of Bach family members are interesting, and it's nice to hear the cantata Schlage doch, previously attributed to J.S. Bach (as BWV 53) but now assigned to Melchior Hoffmann. Not only does its single aria offer an appealing melody, but the persistent ringing of the clock-chime--the text's speaker yearns for the "final stroke of the clock"--is an unusual and delightful feature. The sound is full and resonant, with the strings and keyboard instruments well balanced with the voice.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Ach, dass ich Wassers genug hätte by Johann Christoph Bach
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 7 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: German 
2. Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele by Christoph Bernhard
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Es war aber an der Stätte by Christian Geist
Performer:  Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 10 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Composition written: Göteborg, Sweden (After 1679 - By 1684). 
4. Ach, wie sehnlich wart ich der Zeit by Johann Michael Bach
Performer:  Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 
5. Sonata no 1 by Johann Adam Reincken
Performer:  Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 5 Minutes 50 Secs. 
6. Von der Ewigkeit by Nicolaus Hasse
Performer:  Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1659; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: German 
7. Klag-Gedicht by Johann Fischer
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 6 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: German 
8. Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel by Christian Geist
Performer:  Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 7 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: German 
9. Letzte Sterbensworte by Christian Spahn
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 7 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: German 
10. Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde, BWV 53: Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Philippe Pierlot (Viola da gamba), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Philippe Pierlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricercar Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Church of Bra-sur-Lienne, Belgium 
Length: 5 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: The attribution of this work to J. S. Bach is spurious, and the current attribution to Georg Melchior Hoffmann is doubtful. 

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