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Roderich Kreile - Homilius: Johannespassion (2007)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 18-04-2019, 13:30
Roderich Kreile - Homilius: Johannespassion (2007)
Artist: Dresdener Kreuzchor & Dresdener Barockorchester, Roderich Kreile
Title Of Album: Homilius: Johannespassion
Year Of Release: 2007
Label: Carus
Country: Germany
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 1:59:06
Full Size: 541 MB

Gottfried August Homilius was a student of J.S. Bach's who worked in Dresden for much of his career. He was apparently highly thought of in the late eighteenth century, with many of his works circulating in copies. This Johannespassion, or St. John Passion, shows the influence of Bach's Passion settings, with biblical narration of the events of Christ's crucifixion interspersed with chorales and arias (by an unknown text author) that express emotional reactions to what is happening. The chorus has a dual role, singing the chorales and also embodying the words of the crowd urging Christ's killing. The Johannespassion is one of several Homilius works unearthed by Germany's Carus label, an enterprise that's especially welcome inasmuch as church music remains among the least understood aspects of the music scene of the later eighteenth century: the festive works of Mozart and Haydn were probably far from typical. Homilius' Passion setting is a mixed bag stylistically, with chorales that Bach could have written side-by-side with full-blown Classical arias that annotator Uwe Wolf called saccharine. Actually, they are accomplished pieces that treat the dominant da capo form with an attractive freedom; what Wolf is reacting to is the contrast between the arias, with their languid, slow-moving harmonic rhythm, and the very active organ-accompanied narration, where Homilius spares no effort to illustrate the text with word-painting. There is quite a variety of solo writing, including bass parts for both Jesus and Pontius Pilate; several onlookers make their presence known in the complex recitatives, which are the work's most distinctive feature: hear the compact, vivid realization (track 12) of the passage where an officer slaps Jesus and says, "Answerest thou the high priest so?" and Christ replies,"If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me?" The singers are all German veterans who catch the dramatic quality of the recitatives effectively, and the Dresdner Kreuzchor and Dresden Baroque Orchestra under Roderich Kreile have a smooth tone that works well in the music. This handsome release, illustrated with Mathias Grunewald's gruesome image of Christ under the crown of thorns, will be of interest both to those interested in Bach's circle and those with large eighteenth century collections. -- James Manheim

Roderich Kreile - Homilius: Johannespassion (2007)

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