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Hyperion Records

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The Leipzig Thomaspforte (c1790) by an unknown artist
AKG London
Track(s) taken from CDH55373
Recording details: November 2000
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: May 2001
Total duration: 8 minutes 31 seconds

'Charming music from one of Bach’s 17th-century predecessors as Kantor of the Thomaskirche, Leipzig. Strongly recommended' (Gramophone)

'The choral blending is fresh, vital and alert, with particularly alluring contributions from the soprano voices. The big brass arsenal is arresting and provides an effective foil for the more contemplative pieces. Thanks, King and Co' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This important recording is fine proof of Schelle’s imagination and invention … Robert King should be congratulated for an outstanding espousal of another of Bach’s forebears' (Early Music Review)

'I feel unusually evangelical about this new disc. Its riches are thrillingly overt: the music radiates a glowingly optimistic sense of spirituality comparable with the most outgoing of Bach’s later cantatas' (International Record Review)

'The man who is gifting this superlative disc to his friends is doing them the greatest favor imaginable. It contains an absolute treasure trove whose only common denominator is the high quality throughout every one of these nine works … King's fervent espousal of Schelle's marvelous music is apparent in every bar of this flawless disc' (Fanfare, USA)

'The King’s Consort are on top form throughout. Highly recommended' (The Organ)

'Anyone who has yet to investigate King's indispensable 'Bach's Contemporaries' should rectify the omission without a moment's further ado. Start with this treasure of a disc, then investigate the Kuhnau, Knüpfer and Zelenka. By that time you'll be ready to get down onto your knees and pray for further additions to the series' (Goldberg)

Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar
composer
1688/9
author of text
Christmas Hymn

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar (‘From heaven came a throng of angels’) is a Christmas cantata which opposes three instrumental choirs (trumpets and timpani, cornets and trombones, strings) to a five-part vocal choir. All six sections of this work develop the melody of the famous Lutheran Hymn with changing techniques. By shaping verses I and VI, and II and V almost identically, Schelle achieves a symmetrical framework, at whose centre, with verses III and IV, an elated, danceable version of the chorale appears, as well as a monumental cantus firmus arrangement. Corresponding with his artistic ambitions for this piece, Schelle employs elaborate composing techniques so that, again, this work not only appears easily comprehensible, but at the same time displays great glory and naturalness.

from notes by Peter Wollny © 2001
English: Viola Scheffel

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