German Advent Songs
Miriam Feuersinger soprano, Daniel Schreiber tenor, Les Escapades
Christophorus CHR 77387
For this delightfully refreshing selection, the viol consort Les Escapades and their guests have raided the rich treasury of German music for Advent from the late 15th to the early 18th centuries. The recording features plainchant as well as Advent songs, in which each successive verse appears in settings by different composers, interspersed with instrumental episodes. The singing from soprano Miriam Feuersinger and tenor Daniel Schreiber is beautifully lyrical, and both singers always sound as if they have something urgent to convey to the listener. The viol consort, occasionally supported by guest organist Evelyn Laib, plays impeccably both on its own and as a beautifully effective and sympathetic accompaniment to the singing. The composers range from household names such as Isaac, Praetorius and Lassus to the more obscure figures of the German Renaissance such as Andreas Raselius and Balthasar Resinarius, and herein lies the chief virtue of this programme, which has managed to resurrect music long lost to the mainstream and restore it side by side with the more familiar repertoire – and as so often with this type of exercise it is hard to find any reason other than luck why some repertoire should be remembered and some forgotten. This CD is a lovely listen, and I would challenge anybody to differentiate on the basis of quality between the least and the most familiar music here.
D. James Ross