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CD Review

Gottfried Heinrich Stoelzel

Christmas Oratorio

  • Christmas Oratorio (1728)
  • Epistle Cantatas
  • Concerto for Oboe, Strings & Continuo
  • Deutsche Messe
Christine Maria Rembeck, soprano
Schirin Partowi, alto
Andreas Post, tenor
Albrecht Pohl, bass
Paul van der Linden, oboe
Kammerchor der Marien-Kantorei Lemgo
Handel's Company/Rainer Johannes Homburg
Dabringhaus & Grimm 6051232-2 53m DDD
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Stoelzel's work has already been quite well represented on MD&G CD's and this new collection of works is pleasant enough to warrant repeated listening although one must also admit that Stoelzel was definitely no Bach although they are almost exact contemporaries.

The three Epistle Cantatas are full of touches that do demonstrate Stoelzel's prowess however. They are short works, with the longest lasting just over twelve minutes and the shortest lasting just under eight minutes but the choral parts are interesting and well sung by the Lemgo Chamber Choir. The soloists are fine although again the music making does not reach any spectacular heights.

Homburg throws in a pleasant oboe concerto in which Paul van der Linden plays an accomplished solo part and which also finds the Handel's Company orchestra on fine form. The minuscule 'Deutsche Mass' is also pleasant with some striking choral features that are reminiscent of late Bach or the better-known Lutheran Masses.

The disc is well recorded, well played and includes some very detailed notes that deal with Stoelzel's career and oeuvre, making him into quite a heroic figure. Enthusiasts of the baroque will want to sample but making the purchase for a rather short changed disc that plays for well under an hour would be daunting for some.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech