Bruhns: Complete Cantatas

Floral design

Harmonices Mundi, Claudio Astronio
139:06 (2 CDs in a jewel case)
Brilliant Classics 95138

[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ven though 20 years have passed since I first heard these works, which were recorded as part of Ricercar’s “German Baroque Cantatas” series, I have loved them. Perhaps even more than Buxtehude, Bruhns embraced both the French and Italian styles of the day and, combining them with extraordinary talents for word-painting and counterpoint, produced some utterly beguiling music. These new set has many virtues (not the least of which are the tenor singers), and at Brilliant’s low price it would be a shame not to add them to your library; it would be remiss of me, however, if I did say that there are voices here that are not to my taste, and surely cannot compete with the earlier sets. The texts are printed in the original languages only (one can forgive a bargain label for this!), and there is some serious clutching at straws in the accompanying essay (and its translation – what on earth are “acute notes”?) If you do not know these works, with this release you have no excuse for not getting to know them!

Brian Clark