Capricornus Ensemble Stuttgart, Henning Wiegräbe
Coviello Classics COV91721
We have a saying in English: “You wait ages for a certain bus and then two come along at once”. That is how fans of Capricornus’ music must feel – it has been many years now since the excellent Parlement de musique recording, and now we have a marvellous account of his Jubilus Bernardi AND the present recital of smaller-scale pieces from the Capricornus Ensemble Stuttgart. Where the Jubilus is consistently scored for five voices with five-part viols and continuo, the works here are for one or two solo voices and the scoring varies, and always in an interesting way; the composer clearly had an ear for instrumental colour, and enjoying the different combinations.
Both Lydia Teuscher (soprano) and Philip Niederberger (bass)’ voices are perfectly suited to this repertoire; intonation is immaculate, both use vibrato as an ornament, and both are adept at stylishly executing filigree decoration. They are matched by the instrumentalists of the Capricornus Ensemble. What we need now is a disc of some of the pieces for four or five voices with a mixture of instruments; Cornetto-Verlag (also in Stuttgart, where Capricornus was Kapellmeister for the latter part of his short life) is producing a complete edition of his music, so there is no shortage of material. On the evidence of this CD, I think these top-class performers are the perfect candidates to bring us more from the master.