Tuesday, May 16, 2017

De Leidse Koorboeken. (The Leiden Choirbooks) Part 2, CD 2.

New acquisition.
Bought in 2017.
First listen: 16-5-2017.
Label: Etcetera.
CD 2 from 2.
Recording dates: February 2011.
Recording venue: Laurentiuskerk Mijnsheerenland, The Netherlands.
Recording engineer: Tom Dunnebier.
Running time: 79:27.
Relevance to me: Essential.

Composers on this disc:
Clemens non Papa.
Joachimus de Monte.
Anonymous works.

Performed by:
Egidius Kwartet & College.

Every CD brings us nearer to perfection in terms of choral balance, applying the right dynamics, getting a deep spiritual expression, resulting in a sonorous and well defined virtuosity. On this disc sensitivity is very much in evidence, and they are squeezing out every ounce of spiritual depth.
Their movement is mellifluous, and all voices tend to be in harmony. All works are ornamented with filigree care, and that might be called a small miracle being an ad hoc ensemble. And despite that perfection there are a few things that I noticed, and one of them was distinctly unpleasant and ruining for a moment the equilibrium of Clemens non Papa's Magnificat quarti thoni a 4. (Track 4) I am referring to the Altus Peter de Groot, who is yet again responsible for beginning two or three sentences with a loud and penetrating voice, pushing out all others. This startled me in such a way that my contemplative mood was shocked out of countenance in an instance, literally! Totally unnecessary and damaging. He does that again in Track 11, "Pange lingua" be it not so drastic. If I have to point to a weak member of this ensemble, he surely is. But it must be said, if he keeps his voice in check he sounds marvelous like in the anonymous piece, "Iam bone pastor", Track 2. In Track 11 "Tantum ergo" the 4 females sing at full blast and too loud. A pity that they did not listen at each other and adjust the dynamics and volumes accordingly. It is a bit out of synch, at least for me. I had a hard time hearing the males in this piece, and that is never a good sign. But my conclusion is one of great joy, that this project is getting better on every volume, and that we hear marvelous music in such high quality. Despite my reservations this is a great success, and I am looking forward to the other volumes. The sound is almost perfect.

Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760) Partitas for Harpsichord. Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: July 2017. First listen: 26-7-2017. Label: Analekta. Recording dates: September 2001. Recording v...