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J. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of GodJ. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of God
Johann Sebastian Bach
Vom Reiche Gottes
The WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING of the great cantata "Vom Reiche Gottes"
with arias, choruses & chants from 18 Bach Cantatas, compilated by Hans Grischkat,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Heike Heilmann (Soprano), Franz Vitzthum (Altus, Countertenor),
Johannes Mayer (Tenor), Falko Hönisch (Bass),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir, Ensemble il Capriccio
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 78 Minutes
CD
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***** A unique performance... This album is a treasure...

Electrifying live performance of mostly rarely performed J.S. Bach arias, choruses and chants, recorded on location at the 12th century Maulbronn monastery in Germany. The acoustics are beautiful, and the sound quality very convincing. Historical instruments were used for the performance, tuned to the exact pitch Bach would have been familiar with in his lietime. The result is intimate, moving and addictive. Of course it is a 'programme', with famous pieces followed by unusual tracks, but it provides an irresistible feeling of ensemble and wholesomeness.
The delicate Sinfonia opens the CD perfectly, operates magically on your brain and your senses to remove any feeling of oppression from what you cannot control of the outside world, and when the beautifully sung chorus of the same cantata follows, you know you are in for a treat that mixes adherence to the settings of the time and effective modern recording technology.
This album is not 'another Bach' album. It is unique, and it is a treasure.

"Edel" on Amazon.com (Verified purchase of the Audio CD)

J. S. Bach · Mass in B MinorJ. S. Bach · Mass in B Minor
Johann Sebastian Bach
Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
Performed according to the traditions of the time
by Joanne Lunn (Soprano), Ursula Eittinger (Mezzo-Soprano),
Marcus Ullmann (Tenor), Gotthold Schwarz (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra (Hannoversche Hofkapelle),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 112 Minutes
2 CD
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I am bowled over by the quality... Fantastic!

Yesterday I received the B Minor Mass and I am bowled over by its quality... Fantastic! As always from K&K...

Gerald Fenech on Facebook

Review

This recording is nothing less than superb...

As always this enterprising German company issues beautifully recorded CD sets of choice and eclectic music but it has reverted back to its original oratorio and sacred course with this monumental recording of Bach's sublime B Minor Mass. The recording in the wonderful surroundings of the Maulbronn Monastery is nothing less than superb with ideal balance between chorus and orchestra and with the soloists on pretty much top form throughout. Jürgen Budday conducts with extreme sensitivity throughout and his tempi are extremely well judged especially in the drawn out "Kyrie" and the irrepressible energy of the "Gloria in excelscis Deo" culminating in a "Dona nobis pacem" of almost spine tingling beauty. The chorus sings with knowledgeable integrity whilst all four soloists contribute in their own special way to the performance as a whole with Ursula Eittinger particularly ravishing....

Classical Net

Johannes Brahms · A German RequiemJohannes Brahms · A German Requiem
Johannes Brahms
A German Requiem
Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45
The "London Version" (sung in German)
for 2 soloists, choir and four-hand piano,
arranged by the composer, performed by
Heidi Elisabeth Meier (Soprano), Josef Wagner (Baritone),
Piano Duo GrauSchumacher (Andreas Grau & Götz Schumacher),
Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 70 Minutes
CD
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A reference recording

Interpretation: ***** (5 out of 5)
Recording Quality: ***** (5 out of 5)
Status: Reference Recording

KULIMU - German Magazine for art, music and literature

Review

Magnificently performed and recorded...

Fine Reduction and Fine Performance
Brahms' own piano reduction of his Requiem. It works wonderfully in this format and this recording is magnificently performed and recorded. This will not replace the orchestra version (and certainly was not meant to) but it allows one to hear the work in a new way...

Bachjscpe on Amazon.com

Review

***** Certainly Five Stars!

Item getting today, 04/13/17. A very interesting interpretation of the famous Brahms German Requiem for piano duo, choir and soloists; the London version, in contrary to the later full orchestral, choir and soloists version. This chamber version makes this work more a delightful and receptable one during this Passion Time.

J. P. M. Smit on Amazon.com, April 13, 2017

Louis Spohr · The Last JudgementLouis Spohr · The Last Judgement
Louis Spohr (1784-1859):
The Last Judgement
The oratorio "Die letzten Dinge"
based on verses from the Holy Scripture
in a complete live recording of the original version from 1826, sung in German,
with Miriam Meyer (Soprano), Ursula Eittinger (Mezzo-Soprano),
Marcus Ullmann (Tenor), Josef Wagner (Bass),
Maulbronn Cantor Choir (Kantorei Maulbronn),
Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 81 Minutes
CD
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5 stars out of 5 stars

Customer Votes on EMusic

Review

Spohr'’s second oratorio concerns both:
the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement

This was Spohr’s second oratorio and was written in Kassel between 1825 and 1826. The libretto, in two parts, was by Johann Friedrich Rochlitz (1769-1842) and concerns both the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement. The overture is a powerful utterance, finely put together, and orchestrated adeptly. The choral entries are often arresting, and the accompanied recitatives show awareness of oratorio antecedents but are sufficiently flexible to convince on their own terms. At its best the work impresses through a felicitous sense of word-setting and layering; the choral responses are indeed sensitively shaped. The fourth movement, with a tenor solo and chorus, calls for a repeated ‘Heilig’ and the chorus’s soft, reverential repetition vests the music with great reflectiveness and elegiac quality. Then too Spohr doesn’t stint the opportunities for some good old-fashioned fugal development. Its employment halts the narrative somewhat but is certainly incisive; that in the seventh section is very definitely reminiscent of Handel. Spohr shows in the Sinfonia introduction to the second part just how well he wrote for orchestral forces and in the Babylonian chorus (No.15) demonstrates a sure instinct for the dramatic crest of a movement. In the concluding fugal Hallelujah section he reprises the kind of Handelian statements he’d earlier established in the first part of the oratorio. There are some Mozartian touches here and there, more stentorian Beethovenian ones too, in addition to the sometimes pervasive Handelian aspect. ...

Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb International - www.musicweb-international.com

Review

Qobuz Hi-Res Audio

Awarded by Qobuz with the "Hi-Res Audio" March 2012.

Qobuz

Review

The listener is engrossed in what is going on from first note to last

This enterprising German label has recently served up some wonderfully crafted chamber and choral performances and this discovery by Spohr is no exception. Apparently 'The Last Judgement' (Die letzten Dinge - 1825/6) was an extremely popular oratorio in its heyday but it unfortunately fell by the wayside and is little heard today. Spohr treats the text with reverence and respect and although the music rarely rises above the mundane, the soloists and Budday ensure that the listener is engrossed in what is going on from first note to last. This is a worthwhile revival from the Spohr canon which deserves much wider currency.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Maulbronn Chamber Choir · Love & SorrowMaulbronn Chamber Choir · Love & Sorrow
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Love & Sorrow
"Liebe & Leid"
An a-cappella-recording with works about love and sorrow
for 4- to 12-part mixed choir
by Robert L. de Pearsall (1795-1856), Robert Schumann (1810-1856),
Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), Sven David Sandström (*1942),
John Tavener (*1944), John Rutter (*1945), Branko Stark (*1954),
David Hill (*1957), Wolfram Buchenberg (*1962),
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (*1963) & Eric Whitacre (*1970)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 75 Minutes
CD
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One of the best German choirs

The Maulbronner Kammerchor, conducted by Jurgen Budday, can serve as a model example of the best that there is in the German style of this art: roundly shaped clear phrases, deliberately designed shadings of dynamics, precise articulation an a homogeneous balance of well-cultured voices. These caracteristics are symptomatic, regardless of whether they are singing a Mendelssohn motet or a modern psalm setting, light in presentation but studded with thoroughly rehearsed effects.

The Jerusalem Post

Review

***** Excellent and highly recommended

This a-cappella-recording contains an interesting collection of historical and contemporary choral works, excellently interpreted by the highly honored Maulbronn Chamber Choir, under the direction of Jürgen Budday. This project is incredibly exciting, contains a lot of new sounds and is absolutely diversified. This release is an absolute recommendation for all lovers of choral music.

'MichaelJG' at Barnes & Noble

Review

What a juicy sound this choir makes at full throttle!

This Liebe & Leid program was recorded at Maulbronn Monastery in Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a very resonant space. It's in those echoes, in fact, that the charm of the release resides. This is a pretty good choir, to be sure; and a joyful noise is made in varied repertoire stretching from Robert Lucas de Pearsall's sumptuous "Great God of Love", to Eric Whitacre's tingly "Nox Aurumque", to Jaako Mantyjarvi's absorbing account of a true-to-life maritime disaster that took place on the Baltic.
What's more exciting, though, than any technical nuance or interpretive wrinkle is the high-octane sound of the Maulbronn singers performing in their very own sacred space. That's the draw, pure and simple. Texts and translations are available and necessary because the reverb cancels out some of the diction. But what a juicy sound this choir makes at full throttle!

Philip Greenfield - American Record Guide, April 2015

Review

Featured on Spotify

This release is featured in the editorial playlist on Spotify​:
COMPOSER WEEKLY: SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRÖM

Spotify Editorial

Max Bruch · MosesMax Bruch · Moses
Max Bruch:
M O S E S, Op. 67
German Oratorio in Four Parts,
performed by Peter Lika (Bass),
Birgitte Christensen (Soprano), Stefan Vinke (Tenor),
the Maulbronn Cantor Choir (Kantorei Maulbronn)
and the Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 120 Minutes
2 CD
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An excellent project and a grandiose Performance

K&K is not a label that comes readily to mind, but after listening to this version of Bruch's Oratorio, it is certainly one that should be given more scrutiny. German based, it is totally devoted to publishing outstanding concerts of mostly sacred works recorded live in the natural ambience of Maulbronn Monastery.
The aim of all this is to make the listener experience the intensity, not only of the music but of the occasion as well. Bruch's 'Moses', premiered in January 1895, is a truly eloquent and uplifting piece very much in the 'Elijah' tradition although I found the choral writing a hint Mendelssohnian. Apparently, Brahms did not think very highly of it but Bruch revealed that it was the fruit of inner strength that enabled him to complete this work.
I enjoyed the work immensely notwithstanding Brahms' advice and found much to savour in the memorable tunes that permeate the solo numbers with Moses' death particularly moving. Both soloists and choir rise magnificently to the occasion, delivering performances that are grandiose yet saturated with a humanity that was so evident in Israel's rapport with God. The Russian Chamber Philharmonic play full bloodedly and with conviction under Jurgen Budday, who while keeping a tight reign on proceedings, allows the performance to flow with a natural ease.
An excellent project that deserves every plaudit for its unique Enterprise.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Max Bruch · MosesMax Bruch · Moses
Max Bruch
M O S E S
German Oratorio Op. 67 in Four Parts,
performed by Peter Lika (Bass), Birgitte Christensen (Soprano),
Stefan Vinke (Tenor), the Maulbronn Cantor Choir (Kantorei Maulbronn)
and the Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: 120 Min. 55 Sec.
Digital Double Album · 15 Tracks
MP3

MP3 Album

320 kBit/sec.

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An excellent project and a grandiose Performance

K&K is not a label that comes readily to mind, but after listening to this version of Bruch's Oratorio, it is certainly one that should be given more scrutiny. German based, it is totally devoted to publishing outstanding concerts of mostly sacred works recorded live in the natural ambience of Maulbronn Monastery.
The aim of all this is to make the listener experience the intensity, not only of the music but of the occasion as well. Bruch's 'Moses', premiered in January 1895, is a truly eloquent and uplifting piece very much in the 'Elijah' tradition although I found the choral writing a hint Mendelssohnian. Apparently, Brahms did not think very highly of it but Bruch revealed that it was the fruit of inner strength that enabled him to complete this work.
I enjoyed the work immensely notwithstanding Brahms' advice and found much to savour in the memorable tunes that permeate the solo numbers with Moses' death particularly moving. Both soloists and choir rise magnificently to the occasion, delivering performances that are grandiose yet saturated with a humanity that was so evident in Israel's rapport with God. The Russian Chamber Philharmonic play full bloodedly and with conviction under Jurgen Budday, who while keeping a tight reign on proceedings, allows the performance to flow with a natural ease.
An excellent project that deserves every plaudit for its unique Enterprise.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Mendelssohn · ElijahMendelssohn · Elijah
Felix Mendelssohn
Elijah / Elias
German oratorio Opus 70 in two movements,
performed by Peter Lika, Heidi Elisabeth Meier,
Jolantha Michalska-Taliaferro, Hans Peter Blochwitz,
Maulbronn Cantor Choir (Kantorei Maulbronn),
Members of the SWR-symphony-orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · Double Album · c. 136 Minutes
2 CD
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An Elijah as a devout and moving experience...

This Elijah is both: calming and very beautiful (listen to the octet 'Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen' or the divine quartet 'Wirf dein Anliegen auf den Herrn'). Of course once Elijah has done his bit and the Real God performed the much asked-for miracle, the choir are full of joy and sing their hearts out. But this incident typifies this whole performance. Although it was recorded live there is neither any evidence of an audience present nor any tangible sense of occasion in this performance, but there is a strong sense of being in a place of worship, not just in occasional glimpses of the monastery's lavish acoustic but also in Jürgen Budday's restrained direction, allowing his singers to relish the work's more devout moments and never trying to force the pace. So we have some of the slowest tempi on disc. The choir clearly are at ease with Budday's approach and produce a glorious luminosity in such reflective choruses as 'Siehe, der Hüter Israels'. Also the superb soloists are all utterly convincing in their roles: Jolanta Michalska-Taliaferro is a magnificently wicked Queen as she spits out her venom against Elijah, while Heidi Elisabeth Meier could hardly be more angelic as she calmly exhorts Elijah to 'Rest in the Lord' (after his profoundly moving 'Es ist genug'). Polished orchestral playing further enhances Budday's interpretation of the work as a profound statement of Christian faith, while the recording is as flawless as one would expect from a state-of-the-art studio, let alone a 12th-century monastery.

Marc Rochester, Gramophone Magazine

Review

***** Excellent

5 Stars (out of 5 Stars)

An Amazon.uk customer on 5 Mar. 2016 (Verified Purchase of the CD)

Mozart · Piano Concertos I · Nos. 17 & 23Mozart · Piano Concertos I · Nos. 17 & 23
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Piano Concertos I
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453
& Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
Christoph Soldan (Piano)
Cappella Istropolitana
Conductor: Pawel Przytocki
Concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
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***** Stunning acoustics

This monastery is world famous. Spectacular decay, luminous sound, superb performances... Try this series and see what you think.

'John K.' on Amazon.com

Review

A wonderful Disc

This wonderful disc recorded in the splendor of the Maulbronn Monastery continues to cement K&K's reputation as a purveyor of quality classical music. Their Mozart piano concerto series has so far been quite exquisite on all counts this time with Christoph Soldan at the piano. KV453 floats along quite merrily, especially in the broad Finale which has the Capella Istropolitana playing like angels, ably directed by Pawel Przytocki. The same goes for KV488, one of the miracles of Mozart's piano concertos which can easily hold its own with former greats in the genre such as Wilhelm Kempff and Géza Anda. My only gripe in this series is the paucity of notes which accompany the issues otherwise both recording and interpretation are of impeccable quality throughout. Those who are collecting this fine series really need not hesitate in any way and should go ahead with purchasing this issue.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net, Copyright 2009

MOZART: All Chamber Piano ConcertosMOZART: All Chamber Piano Concertos
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
All Chamber Piano Concertos
The 4 Piano Concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
which were originally composed for Piano & String Quartet,
performed by Christoph Soldan (Piano) and the Silesian Chamber Soloists (String Quintet)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791):
Piano Concerto No. 11 in F Major, K. 413 · Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414
Piano Concerto No. 13 in C Major, K. 415 · Piano Concerto No. 14 in E-Flat Major, K. 449
Recorded live in two concerts to 'Direct 2-Track Stereo Digital HD'
HD Recording · DDD · Duration: 1 Hour / 26 Min. / 29 Sec.
Digital Double Album · 12 Tracks · incl. Digital Booklet
MP3

MP3 Album

320 kBit/sec.

EUR 13,30SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayYouTube MusicApple MusicIdagioNaxos Music LibraryAmazon MusicAmazon DownloadsTidalPrime-phoniciTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDPresto Classical HDeClassical HDHD TracksDailymotion PlaylistReview

***** A fine alternative... I strongly recommend this set.

I accidentally came upon this two disc set on Spotify. If, like me, you are always on the look out for new performances and versions of Mozart piano concertos you will probably enjoy these performances, and at the same time know that they are by the master's hand, so nobody else has fiddled with them ! The string quintet accompanying is very alert and sympathetic to the many strands and gradations of colour, even sometimes sounding like a larger body than they really are. Christoph Soldan is a fine Mozart pianist and his piano is well recorded. I do not know what type or make it is, but it has a very bright and appealing sound which contrats well with the strings. Christoph Soldan has specialised in Mozart for a long time and has many recordings to his name and It is a pity that he is not more well known over here. These are not particularly intimate performances as the performers project themselves well, though there is plenty of feeling and beauty in their playing. I do not like showy or long or gimmicky cadenzas, but I smiled at his in the finale to concerto no, 14. I wouldn't want to be without the full orchestral versions of these concertos and though these do not displace them, they are immensely enjoyable. I strongly recommend this set.

Paul Capell on Amazon.com

Musica Sacra · Die ZeitMusica Sacra · Die Zeit
Musica Sacra
Die Zeit
'The period of time'
Songs, arias and instrumental music from the 17th and 18th century
by Johann Rist, Johann Schop (c. 1590-1667),
Nikolaus Adam Strungk (1640-1700),
Heinrich Scheidemann (c. 1595-1663),
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
Dorothee Mields (Soprano)
& Ensemble Hamburger Ratsmusik:
Simone Eckert (Viola da gamba & Diskant-Viola da Gamba),
Ulrich Wedemeier (Theorbo),
Michael Fuerst (Harpsichord)
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
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A spirited rediscovery of true expression that's centuries old

This album is part of a series recorded live at the medieval-era Maulbronn Monastery in southern Germany, but it explores the music of a very different region: the Hamburger Ratsmusik, doubtless a strange name to Anglophone ears, is the Music of the Hamburg City Council, a concert series with a tradition a half a millennium long. It petered out and was then revived.
This concert, conceptualized by gambist and ensemble leader Simone Eckert, collects a group of pieces from the 18th century, all connected by the single theme of time (die Zeit)... The combination of pieces is largely unlike anything that's been put on disc before, and many of them are unknown. The program combines simple, strophic settings like Johann Schop's "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" (O Eternity, You Thunder-Word), from the mid-17th century, with Telemann's simple moralistic cantatas, more involved Bachian pieces, and instrumental works of several kinds.
Soprano Dorothee Mields does an exceptional job of communicating the sober but appealing mood of the music, so different from the operatic ideals that informed even much of the output of Bach, and the backing musicians keep everything lively even as the emotion level is low-key; the two Telemann trio sonatas included are nicely differentiated by accompaniment, with one featuring a theorbo continuo.
The whole program breathes and feels like a spirited rediscovery of true expression that's centuries old, and the sound from the monastery is well suited to this music. Recommended, partly in hopes that the album will stimulate further exploration of the repertory from Hamburg, an immensely influential city in its day.

James Manheim, All Music Guide USA

Musique baroque de TelemannMusique baroque de Telemann
Wolfgang Bauer Consort
Musique baroque de Telemann
The Wolfgang Bauer Consort plays works by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767),
performed according to the traditions of the time:
Concerto in D for trumpet, 2 violins & B.C. ~ Concerto a 3 Clarin, Tympani, 2 Violin, Viola e Cembalo ~ Violin Sonata in A ~ Trumpet Concerto No. 2 ~ Sonatas "Sabato" & "Domenica" ~ Ouverture in D.
Soloists: Wolfgang Bauer (Baroque Trumpet), Dietlind Mayer (Violin), Petra Müllejans (Violin), Ludwig Hampe (Viola), Georg Siebert & Ingo Goritzki (Oboe)
A concert recording from the church of Monastery Maulbronn
HD Recording · DDD · c. 73 Minutes
CD
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*****This is incredible! There are no tracks that I want to skip

This is incredible! I enjoy baroque music but am in no way a classical music buff. I had never known of Telemann until I happened upon this by chance. I heard an excerpt that totally caught my attention when I was flipping through car radio stations. It was so fetching that I immediately had to search the web to find out about Telemann & this CD. Luckily I found it. It is so tasteful. The 35 short concertos flow so well together & provide enough variety to keep it engaging using instrumentation original to the baroque era. None of it is irritating. There are no tracks that I want to skip. The lead trumpet, violin, etc. are clean , light , skillful. This CD is so beautifully done, and it has a positive effect on the soul. Highly Recommend.

TealBlue02 'TealBlue' (Mason Dixon Line, MD/DE) on Amazon

Review

Great music by a brilliant composer played by a superb ensemble

'Bachanalia' on eMusic.com

Review

The striking ambience of this particular recording was truly eye-opening...

This fine disc is yet another in the stunning series of CDs produced by the enterprising Josef-Stefan Kindler and Andreas Otto Grimminger and recorded in the sublime acoustic of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Maulbronn monastery near Heilbronn in Germany. Telemann has become quite well served on record of late but this eclectically mixed concert is a joy just to sit back and relax with the sounds of trumpet, string instruments and clarinets competing for attention. I have recently had the opportunity to listen to several CDs from the Concentus Musicus Wien in numerous Telemann works but the striking ambience of this particular recording was truly eye-opening. Each soloist led by the able virtuoso Wolfgang Bauer brings the works to life in an uncanny sense of historically informed music making. This is a joyful disc which deserves the widest possible currency.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Organ Gloriosa · In honour of the Prince of HomburgOrgan Gloriosa · In honour of the Prince of Homburg
Organ Gloriosa
In honour of the Prince of Homburg
Ulrike Northoff presents
the Great Buergy-Organ in the Bad Homburg Castle Church
with Johann S. Bach: Fantasia et Fuga "The Great",
Georg Muffat: Passacaglia for Organ,
Carl Ph.E. Bach: Sonata No. IV,
Christian H. Rinck: Flute Concerto for Organ Op. 55,
Felix Mendelssohn: Organ Sonata No. IV, Op. 65
Recorded in the Castle Church Bad Homburg
HD Recording · DDD · c. 56 Minutes
CD
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A fine compilation

This fine compilation of show stopping organ works is done full justice by the imposing Bad Homburg Church Organ played with relish and gusto by Ulrike Northoff. Starting off with Bach, appropriately enough, she gives a titanic interpretation of the 'Great' Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 542. The rarely heard Sonata by Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel also comes across quite nicely as does an interesting discovery by Christian Rinck, a rather obscure name whose Concerto for organ (originally for flute) certainly warrants some attention. We finally conclude with some Mendelssohn, his fourth sonata which comes across very well played indeed. K&K's presentation is quite excellent with expansive notes and some very striking photographs. The sound is very vivid and immediate although some boom is also detected due to the large, cavernous acoustic.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Review

HI-RES AUDIO

Awarded by Qobuz with the HI-RES AUDIO

March 2012

Rossini: Stabat Mater & Gounod: Missa SolemnisRossini: Stabat Mater & Gounod: Missa Solemnis
Double Album
Rossini: Stabat Mater
Gounod: Missa Solemnis
Performed by the Maulbronn Cantor Choir,
Svetlana Strezeva (Soprano), Jolanta Michalska-Taliaferro (Alto),
Willi Stein (Tenor), Nikita Storojev (Bass)
and Members of the SWR-Symphony-Orchestra Baden-Baden & Freiburg
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
DDD · Double Album · c. 130 Minutes
2 CD
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***** Wonderful

I think this is the most beautiful music composed and performed. Fortunately it comes with a translation of the Latin.

A. H. Eschenfelder on Amazon.com
(Verified purchase of Gounod's Missa Solemnis)

Review

Wonderfully performed

Charles Gounod's first passion was for clerical music and his Messe solonelle de Sain-Cecile is one of his most beautiful works, filled with marvellous melodies. Gioacchino Rossini turned to religious music later in life and his Stabat Mater is almost opera-like with its sweeping melodies and drifting rhythms. Both pieces are wonderfully performed in this concert recording in which the glorious Maulbronn Choir, conducted by Juergen Budday, is joined by soloists Svetlana Strezeva (soprano), Jolanta Michalska-Taliaferro (mezzo soprano), Willi Stein (tenor), Nikita Storojev (bass) and members of the SWR-symphony-orchestra Baden-Baden & Freiburg.

John Pitt, New Classics UK

Review

***** Very Happy

Beautiful recording and so happy I was able to find this for my mother…. At 87 she does not ask for much! But she wanted to hear this.

Daragh Coulter on Amazon.com
(Verified purchase of Gounod's Missa Solemnis)

Review

***** Welcome Home

Just one of those major works that you always adored and never took the time to add to your library. For those of us getting to the more senior side of being senior citizens,my heart bursts with love on hearing the Sanctus. Every time!

'SENIORNERD' on eMusic.com about this recording of Gounod's Missa Solemnis

Sarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio · Arias & CantatasSarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio · Arias & Cantatas
Sarah Wegener & Ensemble il capriccio:
Arias & Cantatas
Sarah Wegener (Soprano) and the ensemble il capriccio
performs according to the traditions of the time:
George Frideric Handel ~ Gloria (Cantata) · Overture (Rinaldo) · Furie terribili · Lascia ch'io pianga · Se pietà di me non senti · Da tempeste · Farewell ye limpid springs · Eternal source of light divine
Henry Purcell ~ When I am laid · O let me weep · Fantasy upon a Ground
Giovanni Battista Ferrandini ~ Se d'un Dio · Scottish Traditional ~ Auld Lang Syne et.al.
Concert Master: Friedemann Wezel
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 76 Minutes
CD
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A rich and warm voice in a splendidly recorded and produced release

Sarah Wegener enthralls listeners with the richness and warmth of her voice and approaches every role in a chamber musical way. She regularly works with Kent Nagano, Philippe Herreweghe, Thomas Hengelbrock, Heinz Holliger, Michael Hofstetter and Frieder Bernius. She studied with Professor Jaeger-Bohm in Stuttgart and took part in master classes with Dame Gwyneth Jones and Renee Morloc.
Here, Sarah performs with the Ensemble Il Capriccio arias and cantatas from the baroque era, thematically enhanced with modern compositions. The release documents a concert at the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery in Germany 2015, splendidly recorded and produced by Andreas Otto Grimminger and Josef-Stefan Kindler for their series "Maulbronn Monastery Edition".

Presto Classical, November 2016

Schubert: Symphony No. 8 & Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3Schubert: Symphony No. 8 & Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3
Authentic Classical Concerts
Schubert: Symphony No. 8
& Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3
Franz Schubert:
Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D 759 "The Unfinished"
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy:
Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 "The Scottish"
performed by the New Symphony Orchestra Sofia,
conducted by Petko Dimitrov
A concert recording from the National Palace of Culture in Sofia (Bulgaria)
DDD · c. 64 Minutes
CD
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A memorable performance

Young players excel in compelling live performances of two favourite symphonies
The members of the New Symphony Orchestra, drawn from the Sofia Radio Orchestra, are a comparatively young ensemble founded in 1971. The writer of the insert-note suggests that their musical style is "sentimental, due to the members' experience recording film music". Sorry, but there is no trace of sentimentality in either performance. Instead, here is a superb example of the intense concentration that can come with live musicmaking from eager young players, well rehearsed, in front of a receptive audience.
In the Scottish Symphony, the character of the playing combines an effervescing vitality and a natural Slavonic warmth, particularly from the full-toned strings. Petko Dimitrov shapes Mendelssohn's lovely lyrical opening with an appealing simplicity, and in the first climax of the vivace of the exposition his surge of animation has the players all but scampering in their exhilaration. The one snag is that the important exposition repeat is, alas, omitted. The scherzo sparkles, the slow movement is beautifully shaped yet has a sombre underlay which prevents any suggestion of blandness, and after the dancing vivacissimo the close of the finale is expansive, almost Klemperer-like in its spacious grandeur. Overall, a performance of much character.
Schubert's Unfinished is even finer, the epitome of Romanticism, the quiet opening mysterious, darkly evocative, yet with incisive drama soon to offset the lyricism. Here the exposition repeat is played, and used to build an onward propulsion which is very compelling. Dimitrov's modest change of pace for the exquisitely gentle opening of the second movement is perfectly judged, and the arrival of the secondary theme is beautifully prepared by the violins. The woodwind contributions, first the clarinet (2'06'') and the naturally following, equally delicate oboe (2'36'') are almost like a question and answer, before the drama of the bold trombone-dominated tutti (2'56'') which is arresting without being coarse.
But it is the gently ruminative quality of the playing - of wind and strings alike - that makes this performance so memorable. The interplay between apparent serenity and the music's bolder progress is like a contrast between twilight apprehension and the daylight assertion of life's irrepressible advance, with a haunting sense of resignation conveyed in the movement's guileless closing bars. The concert hall recording was made in simple 'two-track stereo' and the effect is real, slightly distanced, but tangible. Most rewarding.

Ivan March, Gramophone Magazine

Schubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate LettersSchubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate Letters
String Quartets
Schubert: The Death And The Maiden
Janácek: Intimate Letters
Leos Janácek: String Quartet No.2 "Intimate Letters"
& Franz Schubert: String Quartet in D Minor "The death and the Maiden",
performed by the Amati Quartet
A concert recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · DDD · c. 65 Minutes
CD
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An extraordinary reading that rises to the moment

The severe sound environment of the Maulbronn Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the German state of Baden-Württemberg that dates to the twelfth century, has given rise to a series of recordings covering varying aspects of music from the Western concert tradition. That sound environment is put to intelligent use in this string quartet recital, which pairs well-worn pieces but gives them unusually intense interpretations that are heightened by the hard resonance of the sound. Sample the very beginning of the Schubert "String Quartet in D minor, D. 810" "Death and the Maiden", to get yourself into the disc; the opening chords might be described as slashing. Move on to the second-movement variation set built on the song that gives the quartet its name; where many quartets let a sort of debilitated gloom hang over much of the movement, everything here is a life-and-death struggle. The stronger of the two performances on the disc is that of Janácek's 1928 "String Quartet No. 2," subtitled "Intimate Letters," a hypersubjective work whose emotional content could have been drawn straight from one of Sigmund Freud's contemporaneous psychotherapy sessions. The work is as dissonant as almost any other of its period that does not completely reject tonality, but the dissonance is used in the service of untrammelled expression. The letters evoked are those between the composer and his married mistress. Yet the Amati Quartet's performance, ringing around the monastery walls, brings to mind, to use John le Carré's memorable simile, thoughts that are like birds stuck in a greenhouse. It's an extraordinary reading that rises to the moment offered by a specific performance space, and the disc as a whole, while not for those who like the emotional temperature of their classical music kept to medium, is decisively recommended to those wanting to try out the Maulbronn series.

James Manheim, All Music Guide

Review

I enjoyed it tremendously

It took me completely unawares when the dramatic opening bars of "Death and the Maiden" gripped me by the throat and threatened immediate life-extinction; I felt as if I were living the story myself, and though no maiden, I could certainly relate to her death-obsessed plight. This version is almost orchestral in feeling. While it is true that there is a huge amount of reverb in this space - well, it is a monastery - this only partially accounts for the destructive vehemence that the Amati gives this work. They see and saw their way as if it were the world's last concert, or the devil himself was in the audience. I enjoyed it tremendously...

Steven E. Ritter, FANFARE Magazine

Review

Another thumbs up for this extremely enterprising German label

The enterprising German label K&K has made a name for themselves by issuing critically acclaimed recordings of oratorios and other sacred works in the haunting location of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Maulbronn Monastery. This CD features two string quartets by masters in the genre, Franz Schubert and Leoš Janácek played by the legendary Amati Quartet, one of the finest ensembles currently recording. Both works come across quite beautifully in the sumptuous acoustic and as expected, the Amati play with their exemplary brilliance especially in the "Intimate Letters" which is certainly very hard to bring off. This is another thumbs up for this extremely enterprising German label.

Gerald Fenech on Classical Net

Review

HI-RES AUDIO

Awarded by Qobuz with the HI-RES AUDIO

March 2012

Soundscape Rastatt Favorite Palace: GallantrySoundscape Rastatt Favorite Palace: Gallantry
Soundscape Rastatt Favorite Palace
Galanterie · Gallantry

The Quantz Collegium plays
Concertos for Flute, Viola, Strings & Basso continuo:

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760): Concerto for Viola in D Major, GWV 314

Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Benda (1745-1814): Concerto for Flute in G Major, Op. 4.1

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767): Concerto for Viola in G Major, TWV 51:G9

Christoph Graupner (1683-1760): Concerto for Flute & Viola in D Minor, GWV 725

Artistic Director: Jochen Baier

A live recording from Rastatt Favorite Palace in Germany

HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 59 Minutes


CD
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The Rastatt Favorite Palace in Germany

This concert took place in the "Sala Terrena" (Garden Hall) of Rastatt Favorite Palace (Schloss Favorite Rastatt) in Germany. The Palace is the oldest German "porcelain palace" and the only one to survive almost unchanged to this day. The palace and the garden are one of 60 historic monuments in the Germany's Southwest. The "State Organisation for Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Württemberg" (in German: "Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg") makes accessible, communicate, develops and preserves these state-owned historic monuments with the aim of preserving the authenticity of the cultural heritage, filling them with life and preserving them for future generations. Detailed information about these unique "Soundscapes" can be found at: www.schloesser-und-gaerten.de


Review

***** A memorable mash-up

A musical revolution occurred in about 1720, with the "style galant" replacing the more learned and complicated music in vogue before then. K&K Verlagsanstalt, which specializes in audiophile recordings made in historic churches and palaces, has put together a winning project here, with the venerable Quantz Collegium (established in 1936) performing highly appealing music from the Garden Hall of the Rastatt Favorite Palace in Baden-Württemberg. Recorded at two live concerts, we have here four concertos for viola or flute, or both, by Graupner, Telemann and FWH Benda, all written in the accessible, tuneful new style. Mention should be made of Josef-Stefan Kindler's superb photos in the CD notes, which I at first took for paintings in the Rococo style of Tiepolo. They capture both the spirit of the original music and venue and that of the Quantz Collegium and K&K's Historically Informed reconstructions.
"Every current of fashion or of worldview", says Walter Benjamin in The Arcades Project, "derives its force from what is forgotten." Three centuries on, the stripping down of J. S. Bach's erudite polyphonic puzzles can seem, according to one's sensibilities or mood, either a vital breath of fresh air or a savage dumbing down for the kind of mindless 18th century twits personified by Hugh Laurie's Prince George in Blackadder's Third Series. Luckily we can still take pleasure in the simple joys of melody and a direct and honest, if sometimes guileless, clarity. This music is well-crafted, but the strongest movements, those in Telemann's Viola Concerto especially, can seem very much self-aware. It won't be long before the streamlining process leads to a new round of mannerist complexities.
Though one won't find the final degree of authentic style from the Quantz Collegium, including the three soloists, flutist Jochen Baier and violists Agata Zieba and Killian Ziegler, there is much to admire in these performances. The admirably spare technology and truly galant way of playing combined with the elaborate costumes and the rococo porcelain excesses of the venue make for a memorable mash-up.

Dean Frey on several-instruments.blogspot.com and on Arkiv Music

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