Three from Christophorus

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Program: #17-32   Air Date: Jul 31, 2017

The adventurous German label gives us two great works from the early German Baroque, and a setting of the Lamentations scored for soprano and psaltery!

I. Samuel Scheidt: Sacred Concertos (I Sonatori/Knut Schoch). Christophorus CD 77411.

Samuel Scheidt: Sacred Concertos

Along with his colleagues Schütz und Schein, Samuel Scheidt belongs to the “three great Sch”, whose compositions spread from Middle Germany and influenced early German baroque. Whereas Schütz was rediscovered from the end of the 19th century and even more so over the course of the 20th century, Schein and Scheidt are still not widely known. Other than two years of study with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck in Amsterdam, Scheidt spent his entire life in his native city of Halle. He became court organist in 1609 and court conductor 10 tears later. In spite of difficult living conditions due to the Thirty Years’ War and resulting sieges, epidemics, absentee authorities and the disappearance of any means of earning money, Scheidt managed to get the majority of his compositions printed and widely distributed. The Ensemble I Sonatori and the tenor Knut Schoch present a selection of religious concerts from all through the liturgical year. They offer a pleasant insight into the vocal religious works of this hitherto little known contemporary of Heinrich Schütz.
Franck, Melchior

Prediget von den Gerechten
Wenn ewer Sund gleich blutroth ist
Hammerschmidt, Andreas

Sei nun wieder zufrieden
Jelich, Vincent

Ricercar primo
Kindermann, Erasmus

Die Gute des Herren
Sonata a violino solo no.3
Salaverde, Bartolome de Selma y

Canzon XI a doi Basso e Soprano
Canzon XVI a doi Basso e Soprano
Vestiva i colli
Scheidt, Samuel

Cantio sacra Christ lag in Todesbanden
Christ lag in Todesbanden
Da Jesus an dem Kreuze
Die Gutte des Herren
Kom, heiliger Geist
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
Psalmus in die Nativitatis Christi
Vom Himmel hoch
Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern
Selle, Thomas

Gen Himmel zu dem Vater mein

II. Samuel Capricornus: Lieder von dem Leyden und Tode Jesu (Le Chapelle Rhénane/Benoît Haller). Christophorus CD CHR 77407.

Samuel Capricornus: Lieder von dem Leyden und Tode Jesu

From Steven Whitehead: Samuel Capricornus, the son of a Lutheran pastor, was born in Bohemia in 1628 and died in Stuttgart in 1665 and between those years - so far as we can tell from the scanty biographical records that have survived - he was a typical journeyman musician and composer until he acquired a more prestigious position as Kapellmeister at Stuttgart. He was a prolific composer whose early works were praised by Heinrich Schutz and whose name was kept alive at least in Stuttgart until the inevitable eclipse as other, greater composers came to the fore. Capricornus' most original compositions are on this disc, the 'Zwey Lieder von dem Leyden und Tode Jesu' or, if you prefer, "Two songs on the sufferings and death of Jesus" using texts by Paul Gerhardt. The atmosphere is not unlike the Tenebrae music of the French baroque in being thoughtful and thought-provoking as we look back in sorrow to the events of Good Friday. Isolated from the good news of Easter Sunday this can become too sombre for some as indeed it would be if it really was the end of the story. La Chapelle Rhenane are a vocal consort of five voices with the usual soprano, alto, tenor and bass plus a counter-tenor. All sing well and the blend is good. Accompanying the singers is an eight-piece early music ensemble, all under the direction of Benoit Haller who also sings the tenor part. It is commendable that there are musicians out there prepared to revive otherwise neglected composers and we applaud the specialist Christophorus label in making this material available to those who know where to look. Collectors trying to fill in the gaps in their collection of German church music and who missed this when it was first released in 2006 will be delighted by this re-issue but the more general listener will probably find it too specialised. It was one of those CDs that I listened to all the way through in one sitting without once wishing it was over and yet, once it had finished, little desire to play it again Samuel. Faint praise indeed and an unfair assessment of a more than competent performance of music written by a man who deserves to be remembered for more than having an unusual name.

Capricornus, Samuel : Dulcissime, amantissime, scene for alto, tenor, bass, 4 violas da gamba & continuo (no 1 from “Theatrum")
: O tu vita felicissima, scene for alto, tenor, bass, 4 violas da gamba & continuo (no 2 from “Theatrum")
: Lieder (2) von dem Leyden und Tode Jesu, for 2 sopranos, 4 violas da gamba & continuo
: O felix jucunditas, scene for alto, tenor, bass, 4 violas da gamba & continuo (no 7 from “Theatric")
: Da mihi, Domine Deus meus, scene for alto, tenor, bass, 4 violas da gamba & continuo (no 8 from “Theatrum)
O quam gloriosum est regnum, scene for alto, tenor, bass, 4 violas da gamba & continuo (no 9 from “Theatrum”)
: O Amor (O love that burns without end), for 2 voices & instrumental ensemble
: Quis Dabit Capiti Meo Aquam (Who shall give to my head the water), for 3 voices & instrumental ensem
: Protector in te sperantium Deus, scene for alto, tenor, bass, 4 violas da gamba & continuo (no 12 ffrom “Theatrum”)

III. Sacred Salterio—Lamentations of Holy Week (Miriam Feuersinger, s./Il Dolce Conforto/Franziska Fleischanderl, psaltery & conductor). Christophorus CD CHR 77408.

Sacred Salterio

In spite of its noble past, the Italian salterio is almost unknown today. But hundreds of compositions for virtuosos and laymen demonstrate the interest of the upper classes in this instrument. In 1749 the salterio was banished from the church by order of Pope Benedict XIV. Nevertheless, in the second half of the century, the it came into fashion in sacred repertoire and was played especially in nunneries. The present recording was recorded with a salterio built in 1725 by Michele Barbi. The playing practice is based on research by Franziska Fleischanderl on the Italian salterio in the 18th century. For this reason, the recording represents an important scientific contribution to the subject. In the "Lamentations for the Holy Week" for obbligato psaltery, soprano and basso continuo, coming from the Benedictine monastery of San Severio (Apulia), we find a fine example of Italian Rococo, full of colourful textures and unusual sounds, masterly rendered by the soprano Miriam Feuersinger and the psaltery specialist, Franziska Fleischanderl.


D. Domenico Merola (18th c.)

♪ Lezzione Seconda

1. Vau (Larghetto)
2. Et egressus est a filia sion (Allegro)
3. Zain (Lento)
4. Recordata est Jerusalem (Larghetto - Allegro)
5. Heth. Peccatum peccavit Jerusalem (Largo)
6. Teth
7. Ipsa autem gemens (Recitativo)
8. Sordes ejus in pedibus ejus (Allegro)
9. Vide Domine (Recitativo)
10. Jerusalem convertere (Largo)



♪ Lamentazione seconda p(er) Giovedi Santo la Sera (1781)

11. Introduzione (Allegro)
12. Lamed. Matribus suis dixerunt – Mem. Cui comparabo te? – Nun (Largo giusto)
13. Prophetae tui viderunt tibi falsa – Samech (Andante)
14. Plauserunt super te manibus (Recitativo)
15. Jerusalem convertere (Larghetto con Salterio sempre sonante)


Gennaro Manna (1715-1779)

♪ Lezzione Terza del Venerdi Santo

16. Incipit oratio (Largo e Staccato) – Recordare Domine (Poco Andante) – Pupilli facti sumus (Largo)
17. Aquam nostram pecunia bibimus (Spirituoso)
18. Aegypto dedimus manum (Recitiativo)
19. In manibus nostris afferebamus panem nobis (Spirituoso)
20. Pellis nostra, quasi clibanus exulta est (Andante)
21. Mulieres in Sion (Recitativo)
22. Jerusalem convertere (Larghetto)



♪ Atto di dolore di Metastasio

23. Io ti offro il proprio figlio (Largo assai)

Composer Info

Samuel Scheidt, Samuel Capricornus,

CD Info

Christophorus CD 77411, CD CHR 77407, CD CHR 77408