Love Songs & Psalms
Georg Poplutz tenor, Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble, Arno Paduch
cpo 555 362-2
Tenor Georg Poplutz takes us on a highly enjoyable and instructive tour of sacred and secular songs from the 17th century, usefully juxtaposing familiar music by Monteverdi and Grandi with unfamiliar music by Johann Rosenmüller and Christoph Bernhard, and introducing a host of neglected masters including Benedetto Reggio, Nicolò Corradini, Nicholas Strungk and Thomas Selle. All of the German masters travelled to Italy, learning from the Italian models represented here, the exception being Thomas Selle, who as a pupil of Schütz learned the secrets of Italian music at second hand and with a German accent. The key figure on this CD is undoubtedly Rosenmüller, represented by three major works, clearly a focus of the ensemble, and a figure deserving still of much more attention than he gets. I mentioned at the start that we are in the hands of the solo tenor, Georg Poplutz, and fortunately he has a beautifully engaging voice perfect for this repertoire. He sidesteps effortlessly from secular song to psalm, from Rosenmüller to beautifully ornamented Monteverdi, and is the ideal advocate of this attractive repertoire. He is ably and sympathetically supported by a superb consort directed by cornettist Arno Paduch. This CD is a thorough delight and a revelation from its astutely selected repertoire, its thought-provoking juxtapositions, and its wonderfully persuasive performances.
D. James Ross