Sweelinck: The Complete Psalms / Van Der Kamp, Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam
Sweelinck / Der Kamp / Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Harry Van der Kamp
Number of Discs:
12 Hours 30 Mins.
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Sweelinck’s complete psalm settings (in French) represent one of the great masterpieces of late-Reformation choral writing, and it is high time that the complete set was made readily available. Cast in anything from four to eight voices, these are basically madrigals on sacred texts. As you might expect, the counterpoint is masterly, the melodies on which they are based (preceding each setting on this recording) beautiful and expressive. Each is a little gem, and they would make wonderful pieces for amateur chamber or church choirs and madrigal groups to add to their repertoire. The performances here are uniformly excellent.
The Gesualdo Consort under Harry van der Kamp features well-balanced ensemble, with each voice
timbrally distinctive yet able to blend harmoniously. I particularly like the firmness of the basses, putting a solid foundation on the parts floating above. The sonics strike me as ideal: warm and resonant but also clear and well-detailed. Twelve CDs of this stuff might strike some listeners as a bit much, and I won’t pretend that you’ll want to sit down and play all that much of it at once; but as I said, this is important and rewarding music, and if it’s only for truly hard-core choral music collectors, then so be it.
– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Featured Sound Samples
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
A Monumental Project by Gesualdo Consort January 13, 2013
By Clifford H C. (Thompson, MB) See All My Reviews
"Sweelinck: The Complete Psalms - What an amazing project by Harry Van der Kamp and Gesualdo Consort. Twelve CDs of amazing Psalms sung in French each based on the melody from the Geneva Hymn Books. I have to agree that the CD packaging is flimsy but is more than made up for by the remarkable performances and music. Because Sweelinck was Calvinist music was not required for church services. These were written for extremely gifted amateur and professional singers. These are more in line with sacred madrigals than the standard church music of the time. They seamlessly blend the Italianate madrigal sound with the structure and melody of northern Europe. Well worth your time, even with the substandard packaging. I can't fault the performers for the record companies cutbacks."
GREAT JPERFORMANCES; TERRIBLE PACKAGING December 27, 2012
By James Komar (Saskatoon, SK) See All My Reviews
"When purchasing this collection I knew in advance, from the audio samples on Arkiv's website, that the performances would be excellent. The packaging, however, is substandard in that each CD comes sealed in a flimsy paper window envelope. In order to re-use the envelope, you must open it with great care. Also each disc is numbered in a very small size of type which is difficult to read. As usual, the superlative audio and artistic review by Arkiv overlooked these shortcomings. This is hardly a service to the consumer; rather, it is more like an inducement to purchase which is unworthy of a firm like Arkiv. But at least, and this is a big plus, sung texts are provided, though the Arkiv review did not mention this enhancement. So let us be grateful for small mercies and hope that Arkiv can pressure some of the profit-fixated recording companies to improve packaging and make the inclusion of sung texts a stndard business practice. In spite of all this, I recommend this boxed set highly for its artistic and audio achievements."