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Raff: Choral Works A Cappella

Raff: Choral Works A Cappella

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Having written 11+ very fine romantic symphonies but never getting them played in concert? That’s Raff: Joachim Raff, sometime assistant and orchestrator to Franz Liszt. If the symphonies haven’t yet quite done the trick, maybe his a capella music will. It shows Raff at his most diverse and imaginative best. Vacillating between small-r republican liberalism and intellectual Catholicism, he wrote sacred works and secular political songs of awakening alike. Translated into music, this meant that he drew on the Romantic vernacular of the time but could combine it with his very own take on the Cecilian revival of renaissance polyphony in a way rivaled only decades later, by Hans Pfitzner.

REVIEW:

Joseph Joachim Raff (1822–1882) was born in Lachen, Switzerland. Musically, he was largely self-taught. Musician friendships connected him with Hans von Bülow, Joseph Joachim, Franz Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn. His extensive output includes more than 300 compositions, including 11 symphonies, 6 operas, several solo concertos, chamber music and also, to a more modest extent, choral music. The first compositions of this genre had impressed Liszt, who believed Raff had the potential for a composer of sacred music. But the latter did not follow his mentor with much enthusiasm. The critical Christian was not particularly interested in religion. But then, while rediscovering the catholic faith, he nevertheless took a liking to the idea and composed large choral works with orchestra and also the sacred pieces that can be heard on this CD, but which are preceded by the cycle of Zehn Gesänge. These are sung by the Basel Madrigalists very finely and lively, without pathos. And if the human voice and the manifold possibilities of the choir spurred Raff’s imagination very much, the Basler do justice to the extraordinary richness of color and the various moods of the songs very well.

The extent to which Raff exploited the entire choral sound spectrum in a differentiated manner is also shown by the sacred works, which are sung by the Basel choir very sensitively, but without incense. They hit the simple character of the works without neglecting their hymnal upswing or, where necessary, the spiritualized, divine expression. Technically, the choir sings at a very high level, lean, with suppleness and the best possible balance.

-- Pizzicato

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Product Description:


  • Release Date: October 07, 2022


  • UPC: 845221055015


  • Catalog Number: C5501


  • Label: Capriccio


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: Romantic


  • Composer: Joachim Raff


  • Conductor: Raphael Immoos


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Basler Madrigalisten


  • Performer: Raphael, Basler Madrigalisten, Immoos



Works:


  1. Gesänge (10), Op. 198

    Composer: Joachim Raff

    Ensemble: Basler Madrigalisten

    Conductor: Raphael Immoos


  2. Marianische Antiphonen (4), WoO 27

    Composer: Joachim Raff

    Ensemble: Basler Madrigalisten

    Conductor: Raphael Immoos


  3. Ave Maria, WoO 33

    Composer: Joachim Raff

    Ensemble: Basler Madrigalisten

    Conductor: Raphael Immoos


  4. Kyrie und Gloria, WoO 31

    Composer: Joachim Raff

    Ensemble: Basler Madrigalisten

    Conductor: Raphael Immoos


  5. Pater Noster, WoO 32

    Composer: Joachim Raff

    Ensemble: Basler Madrigalisten

    Conductor: Raphael Immoos