Notes and Editorial Reviews
Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir led by Aapo Häkkinen join their forces together with an impressive vocal cast in this unique release of rarely heard choral works by Robert Schumann. This recording includes the world première recording of Schumann’s 17-minute Adventlied, Op. 71 for soloists, chorus and orchestra, four choral ballades based on texts by Emanuel Geibel, and Schumann’s version of Bach’s Cantata BWV 105. Robert Schumann wrote in 1850: “Keep in mind that there are also singers, and that the highest in musical expression is achieved through the chorus and orchestra.” This illustrates well the composer’s desire to write large works for this medium in an attempt to create a new genre for the concert hall. Today, they still constitute the least explored area of his output. The elevated style he was aspiring to was unheard-of outside the realm of church music. In fact, whether for the church, opera, or the concert hall, Schumann was looking for a sanctified realm, a Goethe-inspired meeting ground for art and religion. Adventlied, Op. 71, was written in November 1848 to a text from Friedrich Rückert’s Pantheon. Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) is one of the best-known Estonian music groups in the world. The repertoire of the choir extends from baroque to contemporary music, focusing on the work of Estonian composers. Helsinki Baroque’s sound has enthralled listeners from the Cologne Philharmonie to Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and at major festivals such as Bergen, Bremen, Rheingau, and Jerusalem.