One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

/


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from
 

Sebastian KNPFER (1633-1676)
Cantatas
Veni Sancte Spiritus 25 [12:39]
Super flumina Babylonius 19 [9:04]
Kyrie cum Gloria 14 [16:25]
Quare fremerunt gentes 19 [14:00]
O benignissime Jes 10 [6:01]
Surgite populi 26 [12:51]
Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes
rec. October 2013, Kirche St. Ansgarii, Bremen.
CPO 777 884-2 [71:02]

The son of an organist, Sebastian Knpfer became cantor of the St Thomas Choir in Leipzig from 1657 to 1676, and director of the city’s music. Quite a bit can be read in the booklet notes about the history leading up to his working life, and that he “had become an important musical personality in Central Germany... some of his works regarded as forward looking in their compositional design.” Of the works that can be traced, only about half seem to have survived, but this recording provides substantial evidence as to the quality of his sacred music.

"Knpfer loved large forms, the lavishness of the Baroque. He worked with the full orchestral apparatus, pulled all the stops in the colour of the tonal ensemble, and also attached importance to the opposition of different orchestral groups, in a manner similar to Praetorius..." Veronika Greuel's booklet notes sum up the sonic effect of these cantatas very well. More intimate passages contrast with sweeping grandeur, but there is subtlety and richness in every corner of this recording and if, like me, you've never heard of this composer, then you are in for a very pleasant surprise indeed.

All of these works are very fine, but I was stopped in my tracks by the Super flumina Babylonis or ‘By the rivers of Babylon’, which has a gentle beauty and some stunningly expressive harmonic passages. All of the texts are printed in Latin, German and English. Consisting of around 35 musicians, the Weser-Renaissance Ensemble of Bremen has plenty of power in reserve for the most spectacular moments in these cantatas, and the elaborate final Surgite populi has spectacular drums and a full consort of brass to honour the risen Christ and send us off with a feeling of true elation.

As is to be expected, this is a very good recording, balanced nicely in its spacious church acoustic but with plenty of detail and a pleasantly wide soundstage. Knpfer's music has appeared before in recordings though by no means in any large quantities. You may have come across The King's Consort on Hyperion (review), but the well-chosen programme on this CPO release will come high on anyone's list when it comes to this elusive composer.

Dominy Clements
 


 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical

alpha_classics.com
Alpha Classics
a new advertiser

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger