Tenet Vocal Soloists, Acronym
Olde Focus Recordings FCR914
Following relatively hot on the heels of a fabulous recording of settings of the Jubilus Bernardi by Capricornus, this stunning performance of a little-known Passiontide oratorio by Schmelzer (perhaps the first of a major piece of vocal music?) can only enhance the reputation of the ensemble Acronym, and also those of the Tenet Vocal Soloists (in this case 11 first-class singers).
Viennese tradition saw musical settings of reflections on Christ’s passion by the leading poets and composers of the day performed in elaborate theatre-like sets for the private devotion of the emperor and his inner circle. Here Nicolò Minato contrasts happy memories from Christ’s life with the events from the story of his crucifixion. The musical style is very much of the age – the narrative is declaimed in tuneful recitative and each section is followed by arias whose melodies are simple but memorable. There are also a duet, three trios, a quartet
The singing is glorious and the instrumental playing (including
I’m afraid I didn’t react in the same way to the booklet note. Firstly – and this is probably just me, so perhaps it’s not even a point worth making – I found the references to “our oratorio” and “our