Notes and Editorial Reviews
During the 17th century, Lutheran musicians produced a magnificent repertoire of sacred music. To do so, they borrowed forms developed and constantly refreshed by Italians, the first masters of Baroque music. German composers, however, adapted what they borrowed to their own language and outlook, carefully giving their works quite unique qualities of harmony, contrapuntal density, variety of form, and expressive power. Apart from a few rare Latin texts, the librettos of the works featured on The Heart’s Refuge are in German. They are drawn, very freely, from the Bible, or from paraphrases or poetic commentaries written by pastors or theologians. Their subjects, sometimes illustrated by ingenious musical images, are: the confusion of the soul in a state of sin; the confident assurance of encountering Jesus in death, often associated with sleep; and the discord between this ‘vale of tears’ and eternal bliss praising and giving thanks to God.
Daniel Taylor is one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world. He appears on more than 100 recordings. On The Heart’s Refuge, he conducts Schola Cantorum and the Theatre of Early Music, two entities which he has founded.
Schola Cantorum aims to present the brilliant early choral and instrumental repertoire from across the centuries to a new audience. They strive to recreate the original performances of musical works in the belief that historical performance ideals and knowledge of the old world are essential for creating music anew. The Theatre of Early Music are interpreters of magnificent yet neglected choral repertoire from four centuries. Their appearances include stunning a cappella programs, with practices and aesthetics of former ages informing thought-provoking, passionate and committed reconstructions of music for historical events and major works from the oratorio tradition.