Zelenka: Missa Sancti Josephi

Julia Lezhneva, Daniel Taylor, Tilman Lichdi, Jonathan Sells SATB, Kammerchor Stuttgart, Barockorchester Stuttgart, Frieder Bernius
57:51
Carus 83.279

THESE GROUPS have had a strong relationship with Zelenka’s music for many years – in fact, the first choral music I ever heard by him was their version of his Missa Dei Patris. This CD is evidence of the affinity they clearly have. As well as the mass (which, being for a saint, lacks a setting of the Credo, according to Dresden usage), the disc includes settings of De profundis and In exitu Israel, psalms that form part of Vespers for Sundays. There are many fine moments to enjoy in the music, such as the opening of the Gloria of the mass, and the bass trio that opens the De profundis setting, but throughout the singing and playing is simply superlative, and all beautifully captured by the recording engineers. It may seem an odd thing to highlight but I was particularly impressed that the packaging did not concentrate on the soloists – in a world in which that is increasingly becoming the norm, it is great to see Carus stick to their house style and let the music (and these first-class performances of it) speak for themselves.

Brian Clark