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A German Passion Margaretha Consort

A German Passion Margaretha Consort

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The Hanseatic wealth of North Germany in the 17th century is reflected in its magnificent cathedrals, and the enormous grandeur of its church music was composed to fill the rich acoustics of these spaces. This programme presents a wide range of Easter music that displays the wealth of inventiveness in this period, enhancing the texts and finding different colors and surprising effects through improvisation and adaptation of the manuscripts. This early music is brought vividly to life by the acclaimed Margaretha Consort.


This recording offers an excellent overview of the kind of Lutheran Church music one would have heard in the major cities and noble courts of northern Germany in the 17th Century. Jacob Handl’s ‘Ecce, Quomodo Moritur Iustus’ stands out as the only Latin motet on the program. Otherwise, it consists of German sacred concertos of varying dimensions. For instance, ‘Jesu Meines Lebens Leben’ by Dietrich Buxtehude sounds like a polychoral concerto, and Schütz’s ‘O Süsser, O Freundlicher’ sounds more like a sacred cantata, scored for solo tenor and continuo. Some pieces sound as though they replicate the timbre of a church congregation performing a strophic chorale melody to Sietze De Fries’s improvised organ part. Between the choral works, De Fries offers further improvisations, for example on the chorale melody ‘Jesu, Meine Freude’.

I am very taken with this recording, both for the selections and for the quality of the performances. Most of these works exhibit hallmarks of the stile moderno and indulge in the expressive properties of chromaticism and unusual harmonic juxtapositions. The notes are in English, but one will have to look elsewhere for the texts.

-- American Record Guide

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Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 10, 2023

  • UPC: 730099148436

  • Catalog Number: 8551484

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: Baroque

  • Composer: Johann Michael Bach, Dieterich Becker, Dieterich Buxtehude, Gregorian Chant, Johann Christoph Demantius, Andreas Hammerschmidt, Jacob Handl, Hans Leo Hassler, Heinrich Scheidemann, Samuel Scheidt, Heinrich Schutz, Sietze de Vries, Matthias Weckmann

  • Conductor: Marit Broekroelofs

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Margaretha Consort

  • Performer: Margaretha Consort