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Kuhnau – Complete Sacred Works vol.3 (FLAC)

Kuhnau - Complete Sacred Works vol.3 (FLAC)
Kuhnau – Complete Sacred Works vol.3 (FLAC)

Composer: Johann Kuhnau
Performer: Gregor Meyer, Opella Musica, Camerata Lipsiensis
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: CPO
Catalogue: 5550212
Release: 2017
Size: 349 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Magnificat in C major
01. I. Magnificat anima mea Dominum
02. II. Et exultavit spiritus meus
03. III. Quia respexit humilitatem
04. IV. Vom Himmel hoch
05. V. Quia fecit mihi magna
06. VI. Freut euch und jubilieret
07. VII. Et misericordia eius
08. VIII. Fecit potentiam
09. IX. Gloria in excelsis Deo
10. X. Suscepit Israel
11. XI. Sicut locutus est
12. XII. Virga Jesse
13. XIII. Gloria Patri
14. XIV. Sicut erat in principio

O heilige Zeit
15. I. Sonata
16. II. O heilige Zeit
17. III. Wüte nur
18. IV. Das Licht ist unter uns erschienen
19. V. Leite mich
20. VI. O heilige Zeit
21. VII. Wüte nur
22. VIII. Ach, denk ich zwar
23. IX. Eigne dir mein Herze zu
24. X. Was ist der Mensch
25. XI. Haltet mich nicht länger auf
26. XII. Ich bin entzückt

Frohlocket, ihr Völker, und jauchzet, ihr Heiden
27. I. Frohlocket, ihr Völker
28. II. Halleluja
29. III. Kleines Kind und großer Held
30. IV. Wie danken wir dir doch
31. V. Willkommen, mein Leben
32. VI. O Freudenwort

The third part of cpo’s complete recording of Johann Kuhnau’s extant sacred works features the Magnificat. It forms his most extensive contribution to the field of church music and of all his works is the one inviting the most direct comparison with a central composition by Johann Sebastian Bach, his successor as St. Thomas music director. Like Bach, Kuhnau divides the Latin text into twelve contrasting sections consisting of choruses and arias. Both composers/music directors exploit almost all the instrumental resources available at the time, and both regarded a lavish Magnificat setting as an indispensable part of their respective repertoires; it may be said to have functioned as a musical credential certifying the excellence of their compositional oeuvre and their church music. The recording includes three other cantatas composed by Kuhnau for the days of Christmas. These works offer further outstanding examples of the musical splendour of which Kuhnau was capable of unfolding.

A predecessor to Bach in Saint-Thomas in Leipzig, Johann Kuhnau was an immense character in his day: an all-around musician of course, but also an eminent polyglot—Latin, Greek, Hebrew—, writer, jurist, theoretician and mathematician. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of his body of work is now (or, let’s hope, for now) lost, especially his operas, a Passion, many cantatas (from which only the text remains and not the music), and several major didactic works. Damn… Let’s rejoice however that at least these few cantatas and sacred works are given to us here—of whom two are world premiere on disc—moreover, performed by the excellent ensemble Camerata Lipsiensis, while the organ sections are played on a Silbermann in its original condition from 1721, in the Saint Georg church in Rötha, Thuringia, fives leagues to the South of Leipzig. It is a small sound marvel that, it must be said, had cost a great fortune to build almost three hundred years ago, and you can hear it. As for Bach’s fans, they will discover in the course of several sections of Kuhnau some very recognizable things… the turns were probably bequeathed from a Cantor to another! The fact remains that Bach held Kunhau in high regard, and he was right to do so.

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