Schutz: Complete Narrative Works / Hillier, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Concerto Copenhagen

Release Date: 10/25/2011
Label: Dacapo
Catalog Number: 8204035
Conductor: Paul Hillier
Number of Discs: 4

Physical Format:

CD
Low Stock
$49.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews


SCHÜTZ Lukas-Passion. Weihnachtshistorie. Auferstehungshistorie. Die 7 Worte. Johannes-Passion. Matthäus-Passion Else Torp (sop); Adam Riis, Johann Linderoth, Julian Podger (ten); Jakob Bloch Jespersen (bs); Paul Hillier, cond; Ars Nova Copenhagen DACAPO 8.204035 (4 CDs: 244:35)


As all four of the discs in this set have been reviewed in these pages before, this notice accordingly provides only a brief summary. J. F. Weber discussed the Lukas-Passion in Fanfare 33:2, the Weihnachtshistorie and Auferstehungshistorie (the Nativity and Resurrection narratives) in 33:5, and the Matthäus-Passion in 35:1, while Ronald E. Grames and I both covered Die sieben Worte and the Johannes-Passion in 34:2. In all instances the reviews were enthusiastic and offered unqualified endorsements of these performances as the recordings of choice for these works; now having the opportunity to hear them all, I heartily re-affirm that collective judgment. Whereas too often the passion settings of Heinrich Schütz, dominated by long passages of unadorned solo recitative, seem relatively dry and come off as the least interesting items in his oeuvre , Hillier and his forces bring them to life with arresting intensity, with the occasional choral passages for the turba having a luminous richness I have never heard in other versions. Jakob Bloch Jespersen is the exemplary reciter of the role of Jesus in each of the three passions, as well as the Herod in the Weihnachtshistorie . For the roles of the evangelists in the passion narratives, Hillier deliberately chose a different tenor to portray each one—Johan Linderoth as Luke, Adam Riis as John, and Julian Podger as Matthew—while Riis is also the Evangelist for the Weihnachtshistorie and Linderoth for the Auferstehungshistorie . All three are likewise able singers, and Else Torp effectively rounds out the list of major soloists as the Angel in the Weihnachtshistorie . Torp, Jespersen, and various ensemble singers assume comprimario roles in the various works; the three passions are sung a cappella , whereas the other three compositions feature supporting instrumentalists of the Concerto Copenhagen and the Sirius Viols, who for their part turn in first-rate playing. Whereas the original CDs sold for full price at about $18 each, this four-disc set retails for only about $28; that is competitive in price and superior in quality to the Brilliant Classics set led by Matteo Messori, which appears to be out of print in any case. The one disadvantage incurred for this discounted price is that the vocal texts must be downloaded from Dacapo’s website, though the enclosed booklet still retains full program notes and detailed specifications for each performance. This set is an essential acquisition for anyone interested in sacred music and the early Baroque; urgently recommended.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
Works on This Recording
1. Saint Luke Passion, SWV 480 by Heinrich Schütz
Conductor: Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble: Ars Nova Copenhagen
Period: Baroque
Written: by 1665 ; Dresden, Germany
2. Historia, der freuden und gnadenreichen Geburth...Die Geburt unsers Herren Jesu Christi, SWV 435 by Heinrich Schütz
Performer: Else Torp (Soprano), Jakob Bloch Jespersen (Bass), Johan Linderoth (Tenor), Adam Riis (Tenor)
Conductor: Paul Hillier
Period: Baroque
Written: 1664 ; Germany
3. Ach Herr, du Schöpfer aller Ding, SWV 450 by Heinrich Schütz
Performer: Else Torp (Soprano), Jakob Bloch Jespersen (Bass), Johan Linderoth (Tenor), Adam Riis (Tenor)
Conductor: Paul Hillier
Period: Baroque
4. Die sieben Worte unsers lieben Erlösers, SWV 478 by Heinrich Schütz
Conductor: Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble: Ars Nova Ensemble (Copenhagen)
Period: Baroque
5. Saint John Passion, SWV 481 by Heinrich Schütz
Conductor: Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble: Ars Nova Ensemble (Copenhagen)
Period: Baroque
Written: 1692-1697 ; Germany
6. Saint Matthew Passion, SWV 479 by Heinrich Schütz
Performer: Jakob Bloch Jespersen (Bass), Julian Podger (Tenor)
Conductor: Paul Hillier
Orchestra/Ensemble: Ars Nova Copenhagen
Period: Baroque
Written: 1666 ; Germany
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