Heinrich Scheidemann, Samuel Scheidt: Cantilena Anglica Fortunae

Yoann Moulin harpsichord
Ricercar RIC394

This is the first in a new series of recordings by Ricercar devoted to German Baroque keyboard music. Scheidt and Scheidemann both worked with Sweelinck in Amsterdam before returning to Halle and Hamburg respectively; this disc alternates groups of pieces by both of them. The CD cover writes of the ‘introverted Scheidt and the more flamboyant Scheidemann’ but the choice of works and the playing here seems to invert this binary divide. Apart from a lively Gagliarda, the Scheidemann tracks – four Praeambula and his Pavana Lachrymae – are played rather solemnly and a touch too carefully for my taste. There is more flamboyance on display in some Scheidt variation sets, particularly those on Also geht’s, also steht’s and O Gott, wir danken deiner Güt. It is a pity that the track change has been mis-positioned between the latter and the previous track. The most interesting piece is probably the final extended Fantasia on Palestrina’s Io son ferito which displays some challenging rising and falling chromatic fourths, which also stretch the temperament. Moulin plays on an Andreas Ruckers copy by Philippe Humeau which works very well for the music and recording quality is excellent. The playing is a bit too safe and respectful overall, but this is a useful introduction to early Baroque German keyboard music.

Noel O’Regan

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