Jauchze du Tochter Zion Christmas Cantatas

Hanna Herfurtner, Carola Günther, Georg Poplutz, Raimonds Spogis SATB, Kölner Akademie, Michael Alexander Willens
67:40
cpo 555 052-2
Förster: Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe
Homilius: Erhöhet die Tore der Welt
J. H. Rolle: Jauchze du Tochter Zion, Siehe Finsternis bedecket das Erdenreich
Stölzel: Kündlich groß ist das gottselige Geheimnis

This is just the kind of disc I anticipate from cpo come Christmas time; music by three obscure composers and one not-so-obscure (although the cantata by Stölzel is not, as the booklet notes claim, a premiere recording!), bursting with memorable arias and choruses with flutes, oboes, horns and trumpets. In addition to the four named singers, Willens has four ripienists for choruses (well, five but that is presumably as Georg Poplutz missed one of the recording sessions) and 32221 strings (as far as I can tell from the booklet), producing an excellently balanced tutti sound. The soloists take the challengingly virtuoso lines in their stride and sounds glorious. In common with the other recording of the Stölzel, a violin plays what is quite clearly a keyboard obbligato in one of the arias – a pity the performers didn’t take the opportunity to correct the earlier error. Each of the lesser-known composers come out of the project glowing; let’s hear more Homilius and Rolle in particular. I would also love to hear these forces in Georg Benda!

Brian Clark

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