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CD Review

Carl Heinrich Graun

Der Tod Jesu

Uta Schwabe, soprano
Inge van de Kerkhove, soprano
Christoph Genz, tenor
Stephan Genz, baritone
Ex Tempore
La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken
Hyperion CDA67446 101m DDD
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Carl Heinrich Graun is a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach and this fine Passion Cantata contains several elements that remind one of that great master in the choral genre. Kuijken brings an excellent team of soloists together to produce a reading of radiant spiritual beauty and emotional depth.

Amongst the highlights in this one and a half hour long work one may find the aria, 'Du Held, auf den die Kocher' sung by Uta Schwabe followed by two more long arias, 'Ein Gebeth um neue Starke' and 'Ihr weichgeschaffen Seelen' sung by Inge van den Kerkhofve and Christoph Genz respectively. Here one may admire Graun's development of the voice accompanied by a slight accompaniment which renders the scene al the more sacred.

There are very few chorales in the work but the resounding conclusion with full chorus is strikingly similar to the ending of the much more celebrated 'St. John Passion'. This set will definitely interest lovers of sacred choral music and as is the norm with Hyperion, full texts and translations are provided. This is a fine addition to the German sacred baroque catalogue.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech