Ars Produktion | CORAL (1 CD)

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16,95 €

The Zurich Chamber Singers

REF.: ARS 38551
EAN 13: 4260052385517
24 horas: Si realiza el pedido hoy, este producto estará listo para ser enviado el lunes 28/09/2020

Composers throughout the history of music have been inspired by Passiontide – a time of calm and expectation. The new album by the Zurich Chamber Singers is dedicated to this beautiful repertoire, combining Passiontide and funeral music of the English and German Renaissance and Baroque with the newly commissioned piece De profundis by the US-American composer Kevin Hartnett.


The Zurich Chamber Singers
Christian Erny, dirección

Thomas Tallis ( ca. 1505-1585)
1 Salvator mundi2:19

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Funera l Sentences (aus/from Funeral Mus ic for Queen Mary Z.860)
2 Man that is born of a woman2:27
3 In the midst of life3:42
4 Thou knowest, Lord2:45
Kevin Hartnett (*1990)
5 De profundis (201 6 )10:07

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227
6I. Choral: Jesu, meine Freude1:08
7II. Es ist nun nichts2:41
8III. Choral: Unter deinem Schirmen1:03
9IV. Denn das Gesetz0:53
10V. Trotz dem alten Drachen2:09
11VI. Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich2:37
12VII. Choral: Weg mit allen Schätzen1:04
13VIII. Andante: So aber Chris tus in euch ist1 : 50
14IX. Choral: Gute Nacht, o Wesen3:48
15X. So nun der Geist1 : 24
16XI . Chora l : Weicht, ihr Trauergeister1 : 1 1

Thomas Tallis
17 If ye love me1:57

1 CD - DDD - 43:34

RESEÑA (La Quinta de Mahler)

So much of European sacred music is dedicated to a central theme of Christianity: humanity’s plea for aid, man’s hope for redemption, and the victory of good over evil. For centuries, poets, composers, and performers alike have expressed these topics through music, and especially during Passiontide. In this reflective time, the consideration on man’s sinfulness is always combined with the confidence in the approaching feast of Easter, and the certainty of salvation. In times of sadness and loss, music may often be an invaluable consolation, and assure of the triumph of good even in the face of death. In this musical programme, the Zurich Chamber Singers combine music for funerals and for Passiontide, creating a meditation over themes that are central not only to the Christian faith, but also to sacred music of the last centuries, and of our art and culture in general. The programme is designed to be relatively short in order to give room to each of these ardent works to interact with those from other periods of music.

The programme is composed around two Baroque funeral cycles: Henry Purcell’s (1659-1695) Funeral Sentences and Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685-1750) motet Jesu, meine Freude. Purcell composed the Sentences in 1694 as three burial anthems from earlier drafts. These were performed as part of the royal funeral of Queen Mary II in the same year. All three are settings of texts from the funeral rites of the Book of Common Prayer. The first anthem, “Man that is born of a woman” is the most sorrowful of the three, written throughout in sombre and expressive counterpoint. The other two anthems both involve a change of expression from sadness into action; as in the third anthem with the text “Suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death to fall away from thee.” The Zurich Chamber Singers perform this third anthem in the version of the royal funeral and not – as more commonly heard in modern times – in the second version that was performed as part of Purcell’s own funeral just one year later.

Not enough information survives about Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude to know whether it was indeed a particular funeral for which this motet was written; yet it has many features of German funeral music of that time. Its eleven sections are organised by choral settings of the hymn “Jesu, meine Freude” over a sacred poem by Johann Crüger. Bach complements the hymn stanzas with verses from the eighth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans, which he sets as short trios or quartets for soloists, or full choruses. The music demands a wide array of expression from the choral ensemble, singing here in powerless desperation, there in fierce warfare against evil, and finally arriving in the blessed assurance of the closing hymn, which ends with the assurance “And may I suffer scorn and mockery; even in affliction Jesus remains my joy.”

Kevin Hartnett’s (*1990) piece De profundis was written as a commission from the Zurich Chamber Singers and was first performed on 19 March 2016 in the chapel adjoining the Grossmünster church in Zurich. The text is taken from the seven penitential psalms, which are featured prominently in the liturgy of Holy Week. Hartnett’s piece is not, however, a straightforward psalm setting; rather, it appears as a meditation over desperation and redemption through themes from these Old Testament songs. Hartnett chose a continuously four-part polyphonic texture, which in the beginning reminds of mediaeval recitative chant, yet which soon gives way to a range of different vocal sonorities. The piece has three sections: It begins with all parts singing a still note e, which by the recitation of psalm fragments gets rippled like the smooth surface of a body of water in the rain. The parts incite each other until they culminate in a moment of great desperation. In a second section, there is again a build-up that now is faster and more demanding, and which culminates in confidence rather than insecurity, leading over into the doxology “Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto”, as is traditional for psalm settings. After this glorious climax, the texture dies away with fading repetitions of “Amen”; and the faint “Alleluia” remind of the promise of salvation in the coming of Easter.

This programme enframes the two Baroque choral cycles and Hartnett’s piece with two motets by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585). Hardly any figure in music history was active as a composer through so many social and political crises and radical ecclesiastical changes as Tallis, who worked as a church musician through the Reformation, the reinstitution, and re-deposition of Catholicism in England. His antiphon “Salvator mundi” from the liturgy of the Holy Week is a polyphonic motet over a Latin text, and with its great contrapuntal artifice was part of the repertoire that inspired Purcell when writing anthems like the Funeral Sentences. Another of Tallis’ motets stands at the end of the CD: “If ye love me”, answering the Passiontide plea of the initial motet with this Eastertide answer. In this seemingly simple, intimate setting of a text from the Gospel according to St. John, Christ assures his followers of God’s promise of security and redemption, summarising an answer which many artists and composers had to the troubles of the world over the centuries: It is that of hope, and of trust in the triumph of good over evil.

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