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Christophorus | BARROCA | RELIGIOSA (1 CD)

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16,95 €

Reinhard Keiser
La Pasión según San Marcos


REF.: CHR 77421
EAN 13: 4010072774217
24 horas: Si realiza el pedido hoy, este producto estará listo para ser enviado el viernes 21/09/2018

Tras algunos fracasos y unos años tumultuosos entre el mundo de la ópera y el de la música de corte, el prolífico compositor Reinhard Keiser aceptaría el puesto de cantor cathedralis en la Catedral de Hamburgo, lugar donde compuso innumerables cantatas, motetes y pasiones. Esta Pasión según San Marcos da una idea de la genialidad casi cotidiana del músico.

FECHA DE PUBLICACIÓN
01/02/2018

INTÉRPRETES
Parthenia vocal
Parthenia baroque
Christian Brembeck, dirección

DATOS DE PRODUCCIÓN
Recording: 10 - 12 May 1993, Kath. Pfarrkirche Alling / Fürstenfeldbruck (Germany)
Recording producer & editing: Dietmar Will
Editor & layout: Joachim Berenbold
Cover picture: “The Mocking of Christ“, Gerrit van Honthorst (c 1617) Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Translations without libretto: Barbara Clark (English) / Jean-Pierre Dauphin (Français)

CONTENIDO
Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739):   

acto 1
acto 2


1 CD - DDD - 63:00

RESEÑA (La Quinta de Mahler)

In 1678 the first German-speaking opera house was opened in Hamburg, the Oper am Gänsemarkt. This institution reached its peak at the beginning of the 18th century, when it was directed by the talented opera composer Reinhard Keiser. Born in Teuchern near Weißenfels, Keiser entered the famous St. Thomas’ seminary in Leipzig at the age of eleven (incidentally this was in 1685, the year of J. S. Bach’s birth) and was trained by Thomas Selle, the cantor of St. Thomas’, in the various musical disciplines. After his apprenticeship in Leipzig, Keiser was engaged at the court in Brunswick, where he reaped his first successes as a composer of operas (in 1692 with his first opera II re pastore). In 1697 Keiser had already taken up his activities in Hamburg in the famous Gänsemarktoper. While there he wrote well over 100 operas for the Hamburg audience, Störtebecker (1701) and Krösus being destined for the greatest success. Contemporaries describe Keiser as an unsteady, restless adventurer who relied for the main part on all the gifts available to him. And so it is no wonder that he was often criticized because of his unruliness and his pride (the story has been handed down of a fierce argument carried out with swords and involving Keiser, Handel and Mattheson, all employed at the “Gänsemarkt” at the time). On the other hand Keiser was openly admired on account of his great gift of “easy invention” and because of his enormous productivity. Despite the excellent conditions, the Hamburg Opera Theatre was not able to last out and its downfall was brought about in 1738 at the latest by the Italian opera company Mingotti, whose guest appearances were having a phenomenal success. Keiser seems to have foreseen this development – although he added on to the fame of his name with the direction and organization of the famous “Winter Concerts” , he was on the lookout for other lucrative positions. An unsuccessful application as music director at the Württemberg court in Stuttgart in 1720 can be vouched for. Even the honour of being appointed court music director to the Danish King was denied him. Therefore Reinhard Keiser accepted an appointment as “cantor cathedralis” at the Hamburg Cathedral in 1728 and devoted himself to composing religious music, including numerous Passions, cantatas and motets. The master’s life circle, beginning in the old tradition of St. Thomas’ school in Leipzig, closed during Keiser’s last decade – after a turbulent worldly life he turned once again to religious music.

Reinhard Keiser’s Markus-Passion has been proserved in two slightly divergent (vocal) copies (German State Library Berlin / formerly Prussian State Library Berlin, now the West German Library Marburg). On the basis of both collections Johann Sebastian Bach’s interest in Keiser’s Passion music is clearly evident: as can be proved, the greater part of the handwritten voices stem from Bach’s own pen. In all probability Bach will have performed the Markus-Passion during his cantorate in Leipzig. Other contemporaries of St. Thomas’ cantor have been done similar honours, especially older composers, including his predecessors Johann Kuhnau and G. F. Handel (Brockes- Passion). Richard Petzold (R. Keiser’s Church Compositions and Secular Cantatas, Düsseldorf, 1935) assumes the date of origin of the Passion to be 1717 on account of the condition of the paper used for Bach’s vocal copies. On the basis of the duplicate of the singing voices and the transposed continuo voice, one can, according to Petzold, presume that it was most probably performed in Leipzig.

Reinhard Keiser insists on a small orchestra for the Markus-Passion, consisting of two violins, two violas, continuo and solo oboe, in addition just a four-part choir and the usual vocal roles (evangelist, Jesus, St. Peter, Judas, high priest, Pilate, maid, centurion, soldier). In spite of this Keiser develops an enormous dramatically tonal and melodic diversity which makes the work seem more complex and more extensive than it actually is from its relatively simple orchestral structure. In its construction the Markus-Passion appears to actually be the forerunner of the two surviving great Passion compositions by Bach: a symmetrical arrangement on fifty music numbers displays at least a hint of number symbolism, the powerful striking up and frequent use of crowd choruses, of vivid instrumentations (harsh, “open” fifth octave leaps of the strings in Kreuziget ihn / illustration of the und steig herab by the two “rushing off” solo violins in No. 34), unprecedented differentiation of the gospels and Jesus’ words in the accompaniment (“secco” in the one and “accompagnato” in the other), first use of the melody Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden in a simple moving chorale after the death of Jesus, the “joyful” swaying of the “Siciliano” (No. 43/44) in the face of death overcome (Bach – St. Matthew Passion Mache dich, mein Herze, rein) and much more.

Keiser fascinates us with surprising and splendidly striking melodic inspirations, which contribute a lot to the expressiveness particularly in the three symphonies (the symphonies are a masterly takeover of older patterns into the so-called modern “opera-like” structure of the dramatically designed Passion). If one were to compare Symphony No. 18 and its “spurts of fear” in contrasting tempo with Symphony No. 24 (peaceful, dance-like movement, expressing the emotion of the self-conscious listener) or Symphony No. 45 (this painful chromaticism is the peak of the Baroque scale of expression!). And so it quickly becomes evident just what sort of effect these short instrumental passages have as transitions from one mood to the next. The composer attaches great importance to the independence in the treatment of the orchestra. By setting the work for two violas, a fifth voice is regularly set free (this is mainly the first violin), which then takes over a brilliantly beautiful and interesting obligato role in the choral pieces. It is also worth mentioning the skilful and reliable melody of the singing voices, which reveals Keiser’s operatic skill. Uncustomary rhythmical shifts of a hemiola type add extra colour of something unusual (eg. No. 20 Klaget nur middle part).

Keiser is familiar with the range of expression of more remote keys and counts on the “sharp” characteristic of accidental minor keys (eg. No. 30, No. 32). The choruses are basically conceived so that a polyphonic “drammatico” whose tempo has mostly been altered follows a highly expressive homo-phonic introductory passage. The compositional attention to expressiveness of text is enormous, as one can observe in numerous examples (No. 1 zerschlagen, the compositional unfolding of the falling aphorism in ver-wun-det or even Je-sus Chri-stus). The distinct arrangement in the accompaniment of the recitatives has already been mentioned; for the first time in history it seems to have been Keiser who confronts the narration of the evangelist, which is accompanied “secco” by the violoncello and harpsichord, with the structure of Jesus’ words, to be played by all the strings “accompagnato”. The most beautiful and most obvious example of this is the sequence of the two numbers 38 and 39, where the accompanied Eli, Eli from Jesus finds its parallel in the “translation” of the evangelist Das ist verdolmetschet. In this connection Bach undoubtedly collected reference points and confirmation in developing his Passions.

Finally there is a place that should be referred to which serves as a particularly beautiful verification of Keiser’s compositional sensibility with regards to the relationship between notes and words: in the recitative No. 33 Und es ward oben über ihm geschrieben the “fulfilled” contents of the Schrift, die da saget are realized in a three-bar “Arioso”(!) with an overwhelming archaic explicitness with the aid of heavily striding quavers – a truly stunning vividness. All these circumstances which have been mentioned show that Keiser’s Markus-Passion is not simply a second-class forerunner of Bach’s well-known Passions. On the contrary, one must acknowledge the high value of an impressively designed, altogether dramatic and naturally expressive masterpiece, which without a doubt it has earned. Not without reason does the great opera composer J. A. Hasse (famous in Italy as “caro sassone”) include Keiser’s name amongst those of the great masters of music, and that decades later when Keiser’s fame had already faded.

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