Tafelmusik am Dresdner Hof

Tobias Hunger tenor, Ensemble Fürsten-Musik
Querstand VKJK 1626

Huge apologies to all concerned for the tardy review of this recording; it was prematurely transferred to my “definitely keep this CD” pile! Featuring music by two important composers who get precious little exposure, Adam Krieger (1634-66) and Johann Wilhelm Furchheim (c. 1645-82); the former is represented by four arias lasting from two to a little over four minutes, while we hear a trio sonata and the six ensemble sonatas from the latter’s Musicalische Taffel-Bedienung (literally “musical table service”). Both composers worked in senior positions within the Dresden Hofkapelle and the high level of virtuosity required of the violinists gives some indication of the standard of playing at Johann Georg II’s court. On Krieger’s premature death, efforts were made to complete a series of arias which he had published in groups of ten; none other than Furchheim composed the five-part ritornelli, and three of the four arias which the gifted tenor, Tobias Hunger, sings are from that posthumous set. The texts are given in German only; my favourite is the last one (and was the last of those published in 1657 while the composer was still alive): “Wer froh sein will, liebt Bier und Wein” (He who wants to be happy loves beer and wine”)! Ensemble Fürsten-Musik (two violins, two violas, cello, theorbo and keyboards) play neatly and with energy and excitement; there is real fire and a sense of harmless competition between the violinists in the trio sonatas (playing in the way that one might imagine Furchheim and his colleagues Walther and Westhoff doing). Great music, beautifully performed.

Brian Clark

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