Psalmen & Lobgesänge

aus dem mitteldeutschen Barock
David Erler alto, L’arpa festante
Christophorus CHR 77453

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None of our readers will be particularly surprised to learn that I loved this CD. The repertoire (psalm settings and songs of praise for alto and strings) is right up my street, the instrumental support given to the singer is sympathetic and empathetic (meaning that they understand that lots of their music projects the text every bit as much as the solo voice part) and, well, David Erler. Effortless in the coloratura (and there is plenty of that among the six pieces here, five recorded for the first time!), and glorious in longer, sustained lines, his is the perfect voice for this repertoire. None of the composers is particularly well known (most of our readers ought to have heard of Briegel and Theile) and, indeed, three of the pieces remain anonymous, but my attention was held for the entire length of the disc, from the jubilant opening (J. C. Schmidt’s “Bonum est confiteri Domino”) to the “Gloria” of the final work, an anonymous Magnificat setting – talk about saving the best until last! What a fabulous piece, with its crowning triple-time “Amen”, with the voice and instruments in joyous dialogue. I cannot recomment this recording enough – it’s a cracker!

Brian Clark


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