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C.P.E. Bach - Hamburgische Festmusiken (2006)

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C.P.E. Bach - Hamburgische Festmusiken (2006)

01 Leite Mich Nach Deinem Willen H 835 (Chorus)
02 Choral- Herr Gott Du Bist Unsere Zuflucht
03 Recitativo- Unwandelbarer
04 Aria- Unwandelbar Welch Ein Gedanke
05 Recitativo And Choro- Um Dich Ist Ewings Licht
06 Aria- Wenn Einst Vor Deinem Schelten
07 Choral- Du Bleibest Ewiglich
08 Recitativo- Ja Zage Nicht Dem Nahen Grab Entgegen
09 Aria- Schon Hor Ich Die Posaune Schallen
10 Choral- Springt Ihr Grabesfesseln Springt
11 Recitativo- Erhohter Menschensohn
12 Aria- Seht Gottes Klarheit Fullt Sein Haus
13 Accompagnato- Einst Traurtet Ihr
14 Aria- Zeige Dich Der Herde Blicke
15 Choral- Gott Der Du Deines Volks Gedenkest
16 Mein Heiland Meine Zuversicht H 830 (Chorus)
17 Choro- Der Herr Lebet Und Gelobet Sei Mein Hort
18 Recitativo- Von Deinen Wundern Rings Umgeben
19 Aria- Erhebe Dich In Lauter Jubelchoren
20 Recitativo- Allein - Was Warst Du
21 Aria- Umsonst Empore N Sich Die Spotter
22 Recitativo- Gesegnet Sei Uns Denn Der Mann
23 Aria- Ruhe Sanft Verklarter Lehrer
24 Recitativo And Choral- Dann Wollen Wir
25 Recitativo- Die Frohe Hoffnung Hemme Deine Klage
26 Choral- Es Danke Gott Und Lobe Dich
27 Aria- Dein Wort O Herr
28 Recitativo- Wer Dieses Helle Licht
29 Aria- Das Wort Des Hochsten Starkt
30 Choral- Herr Unser Hort
31 Recitativo And Accompagnato- Lab Uns Dies Wort
32 Aria- Nun So Tritt Mit Heiterm Sinn
33 Choral- Lob Ehr Und Presis Sei Gott
34 Amen Lob Und Preis Und Starke H 834 (Chorus)

Himlische Cantorey
Les Amis de Philippe
Ludger Rémy


The music on this disc dates from the 1780s, late in C.P.E. Bach's career, when he was the music director for the city of Hamburg. While Mozart was wrangling with archbishops and nobles, and soaking up the revolutionary winds blowing from France, these pieces were written for the most old-fashioned kind of event imaginable -- ceremonies marking the inductions of prominent individuals to the Lutheran ministry. The odd but rather deep liner notes (you know you're dealing with a German recording when you pick up the notes and read something like "Nevertheless, the contradiction between subjective and objective consideration remains") provide a good deal of the works' reception history, and one learns that a generation after they were written, they were already being condemned as insignificant relics of an older way of doing things. Many listeners will reach the same conclusion; Bach's festival cantatas are uneasy mixtures of chorales and operatic arias, with rather pompous passages of trumpets and drums that don't mesh with the more melodic materials, all tied to religious texts that, like some of those promulgated today, seem to protest too much.

Yet a certain kind of philosophically oriented listener will be intrigued. What happens when geniuses take comfortable, well-paid positions far from the latest developments? Why do young musicians move to New York, or Los Angeles, or Atlanta, or Nashville, instead of attempting to make great music in Wichita, or Scranton, or Sioux Falls? Conductor Ludger Rémy (check out the photo of him, with cigarette, on the back of the booklet!), with his Himlische Cantorey small choir and Les Amis de Philippe orchestra, try to divorce the music from any historical considerations and give us an "objective" look. And, of course, one can find the unique and daring expressive personality of C.P.E. Bach here if one looks for it; the sequence of musical events is quite imaginative, and, as with a lot of C.P.E. Bach, the two cantatas here (framed by single choruses with similar purposes) sound unlike any other music of their time. The boxy sound of this recording is wrong; this was music performed in big Hamburg churches, and it needed to sound resplendent, or at least imposing. However, libraries should collect this very unusual and quite thought-provoking disc, and anyone who has pondered the relationship between music and the historical currents in which it flows may want to hear it as well. ---James Manheim, AMG

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 06 August 2013 15:21)


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