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Sweelinck: Psaumes Francais & Canciones Sacrae


Release Date: 11/10/2009 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 902033   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SWEELINCK Psaumes français. Cantiones sacrae Daniel Reuss, dir; Cappella Amsterdam HARMONIA MUNDI 902033 (61:39 Text and Translation)


The program is divided evenly between Calvinist psalms in French and Catholic motets in Latin. The former were polyphonic elaborations of Louis Bourgeois’ tunes for the Genevan metrical psalms of Marot and de Bèze. The French translations were already familiar, since the settings of Goudimel and Lejeune were known in Amsterdam, while Read more the Dutch translations made poor poetry and hence were not favored for singing. Six of these psalms are sung here, mingled with four Latin motets (only one of them a psalm) published in Antwerp in 1619. We hear groups of psalms, then cantiones, then more psalms, concluding with a Te Deum, the longest work on the program.


The annotator suggests that, after Sweelinck converted to Calvinism, he had no hard feelings toward his former faith. This program shows how sensitively he could set the Latin texts, for the penitential De profundis and the ecstatic Magnificat exemplify an awareness of the varied moods, even down to details of text setting. For the French psalms, he respected the Calvinist emphasis on simple text declamation, preserving not only the Bourgeois tunes but also clarity in their polyphonic elaboration. Richard Marlow recorded the complete Cantiones sacrae (23:1), as did Timothy Brown at the same time, but his collection of psalms (16:2) included none of these selections. It would seem that someone might record the complete psalms, published in four books between 1604 and 1621 (the last posthumously). Would it fill as many as a dozen CDs?


Reuss, who is better known on this label with the RIAS Kammerchor, has spent much more time with the present ensemble than in Berlin, nearly two decades during which this ensemble, already two decades old, achieved professional status. Its 18 members demonstrate fine ensemble and tonal suavity. The choice of works offers a broad perspective on the composer’s choral music, still less familiar on records than his keyboard music. As a sampler, then, this is an excellent start toward familiarity with the “Orpheus of Amsterdam.”


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Resveillez vous, chascun fidele by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Netherlands 
2.
Qui en la garde du haut Dieu by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Netherlands 
3.
Du fonds de ma pensée by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1604; Netherlands 
4.
De profundis clamavi ad te Domine by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1619; Netherlands (Holland 
5.
Magnificat anima mea Dominum by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1619; Netherlands (Holland 
6.
Beati pauperes spiritu by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1619; Netherlands (Holland 
7.
A Dieu ma voix j'ay haussee by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Netherlands 
8.
Ainsi qu'on oit le cerf bruire à 8 by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
9.
Sus mon ame, qu'on benie le Souverain by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1613; Netherlands 
10.
Te Deum laudamus by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Conductor:  Daniel Reuss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Amsterdam
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1619; Netherlands (Holland 

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