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Hyperion Records

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The Leipzig Thomaskirche (1735) by Johann Georg Schreiber (1676-1750)
AKG London
Track(s) taken from CDH55393
Recording details: September 1999
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: May 2000
Total duration: 12 minutes 6 seconds

'There is no respect in which the vocal and instrumental performances or the recording fail to do justice to a composer whose revival is long overdue. I strongly recommend you to discover this for yourselves. Bravo, Hyperion! … the second release in the Bach Contemporaries series reveals a composer of imagination and flair. The King's Consort give these rarities outstanding performances' (Gramophone)

'Thrilling to the senses. This is an auspicious continuation of a series which deserves to do very well indeed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Performances are excellent. Highly recommended' (Early Music Review)

'Robert King draws fine singing and playing from his ensemble. The soloists are uniformly excellent … Knüpfer is a real discovery—full marks to all concerned … the combination of education and pleasure is irresistible' (International Record Review)

'Beautifully executed' (Classic CD)

'The performances are immaculate' (Fanfare, USA)

'Recomendados' (CD Compact, Spain)

Ach Herr, strafe mich nicht in deinem Zorn
? 1670/5
author of text
Psalm 6

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The monumental and solemn idiom which is characteristic of Knüpfer appears clearly in the grandly scored Psalm-setting Ach Herr, strafe mich nicht in deinem Zorn (‘O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger’). The effect of this work is not solely due to the combination of great structural skilfulness and refined, elaborate instrumentation, but also to the deliberate crossing of traditional genre boundaries. For this piece, which probably originates from the period 1670 to 1675, Knüpfer chooses the key of C minor, a most unusual tonality for that time. In addition he utilizes (alongside the obligatory five-part string ensemble) trumpets and timpani, instruments that are hardly ever heard in this key. The unusual sound quality is also due to the two ‘flutes’, although it is not absolutely clear exactly what instruments Knüpfer intended. A copy of the score in Berlin marks the parts as ‘Traversi’ flutes; however, the tessitura of the parts would result in unsolvable performance difficulties. Another copy in Dresden asks for ‘Flauti’ (recorders) and this recording follows that instruction. In the context of this composition, the symbolism of these instruments is strangely altered, almost distorted. The sound of the recorders does not stand (as it usually does) for gentleness and sweetness but symbolizes quiet humility and painful agony, and the trumpets and timpani demonstrate not God’s glory and splendour but instead portray his raging wrath and cruel mercilessness, only moderating in the unexpected, conciliatory concluding C major cadence.

from notes by Peter Wollny © 2000
English: Viola Scheffel

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