Dabringhaus & Grimm continually manage to re-discover obscure German composers who have been neglected and Justin Knecht is a notable example of such a travesty.
This wonderful disc contains three substantial choral works that are interpreted with aplomb and colour by the Hassler Consort under the inspired direction of Franz Raml.
'Der Erste Psalm' is a joyous and intrinsically motivated work with some memorable string writing and big bold choruses that are surely written to stick in the memory!
However, the real masterpiece on this rather sparsely filled disc is most definitely the 'Dixit Dominus', a ravishing work that is also quite sumptuously scored. In ways, the music is very Bachian but there is also a touch of Haydnian heroics that makes the music very approachable.
The recording is as clear and crisp as one would now expect from this stable and I have nothing but an unqualified recommendation for the whole project.
Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech