Composers: Schütz
Compositions: Madrigals
Performers: Dresdner Kammerchor/Rademann
Catalogue Number: Carus CARUS83277

Carus has taken on the admirable, if Herculean task of recording all of Heinrich Schütz’s extant music. This disc of German-texted madrigals and wedding music is the 19th in the series. A nicely varied selection of 15 pieces, it explores Schütz’s more youthful, intimate and domestic side, but echoes of the elegant and opulent Venetian style that so influenced him can be heard throughout. Another hallmark of Venetian sensibility is a penchant for setting texts inspired by The Song of Songs, the Bible’s collection of sensual love lyrics. Schütz was encouraged in this regard by Silesian poet Martin Opitz, many of whose paraphrases he set.

Hans-Christoph Rademann has gathered first-rate instrumentalists and vocal soloists to collaborate with his Dresden chamber choir to give performances that are an ideal marriage of energy and clarity. Stehe auf, meine Freundin, a double-choir work, illustrates many of the program’s attractive qualities. Exhorting the beloved to rise up, there is joyous rhythmic interplay between choirs, all underpinned by sensitive instrumental accompaniment and fine dulzian playing by Clemens Schlemmer.

Smaller scale duets such as Lässt Salomon sein Bette and Glück zu dem Helikon showcase the refined singing of soprano Dorothee Mields and bass Felix Schwandtke; and tenor Georg Poplutz and alto David Erler respectively. The spacious acoustic of the Holy Name Church, Radeberg serves the recording well. An enjoyable and stylish recording worth savouring.