Speer: Liebesabenteuer

Musicalisch-Türkischer Eulen-Spiegel (1688)
Markus Miesenberger tenor, Ars Antiqua Austria, Gunar Letzbor
51:48
Pan Classics PC 10339

This is the second CD devoted to music from Speer’s Eulen-Spiegel; where previously Letzbor and co. had explored the war stories, this instalment focusses on the “hero’s” amorous exploits. Interspersed with instrumental music (none of which quite matches the high-quality sonatas I know by the composer) are what, to all intents and purposes are the German-speaking world’s answer to “bawdy ballads”, performed (deliberately) in a “folk night at the corner pub”-sort of way. Now, perhaps if I had been in for an hour or so and partaken of some of the local beer, and suddenly found myself understanding the language better (as you will have to, since the booklet notes, informative as they are on other matters, do not include tranlsations of the texts), this might be a fun way to pass an evening; as it is, and even taking into consideration the valid point that we should not restrict our experience of 17th-century music to the what happened at this or that court, I would struggle to want to listen to this again. One, I fear, very much for the domestic market.

Brian Clark