Da pacem: Echo der Reformation

RIAS Kammerchor, Capella de la Torre (Katharina Bäuml), Florian Helgath
deutsche harmonia mundi 889854 054120
Music by Altenburg, G. Gabrieli, de Kerle, Lassus, Luther/Walther, Marenzio, Monteverdi, Moritz von Hessen, Parabosco, M. Praetorius, Schütz, Vecchi & Gregorian chant

This collaboration between the instrumental consort Capella de la Torre and the RIAS Chamber Choir presents a selection of music for voices and instruments from both sides of the Protestant and Catholic divide in the period following the Reformation. Many of the works feature texts relating to peace, clearly contributing to the attempt to emphasise the common ground shared by composers of both religious affiliations. Alongside works by the giants of the late Renaissance and early Baroque, Monteverdi, Schütz and Michael Praetorius, we have music by more obscure composers such a Michael Altenberg, Jacobus Kerle, and even a rather gauche instrumental piece by Moritz, Landgrave of Hessen. The Capella de la Torre fields a wide range of wind and stringed instruments, and the two ensembles produce a rich opulent sound for the chronologically later works on the CD. In some of the earlier works I felt that the large choral forces, more often than not supported by an organ, produced a rather blander sound, which was not always appropriate for the repertoire. Generally speaking, I felt that the later works were generally given more convincing performances.

D. James Ross