Maulbronn Monastery Edition

A release series of audiophile concert recordings from the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery,
recorded, produced and created by Josef-Stefan Kindler and Andreas Otto Grimminger in cooperation with the "Maulbronn Monastery Concerts" organisation.
Copyright by K&K Verlagsanstalt, www.kuk-art.com.

Publishing Authentic Classical Concerts entails for us capturing and recording outstanding performances and concerts for posterity. The performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that in its form and expression, its atmosphere, is unique and unrepeatable. It is our aim, the philosophy of our house, to enable the listener to acutely experience every facet of this symbiosis, the intensity of the performance, so we record the concerts in direct 2-Track Stereo digital. The results are unparalleled interpretations of musical and literary works, simply - audiophile snapshots of permanent value. Flourishing culture, enthralling the audience and last but not least also you the listener, are the values we endeavor to document in our editions and series.
The concerts in the UNESCO World Heritage Maulbronn Monastery supply the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquility that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustics and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site, providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music, documented by us in our Maulbronn Monastery Edition.

Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler

Buddhist Shõmyõ & Gregorian Chants
CD
EUR 22,00Buddhist Shõmyõ & Gregorian Chants
Buddhist Shõmyõ & Gregorian Chants
Musica Sacra ~ A dialogue of two spiritual cultures
based on the musical repertoire of the Buddhist and the Christian tradition,
performed by the Ensemble Schola Gregoriana Pragensis
and "Gjosan-rjú Tendai Sómjó" (Buddhist Monks from Japan)
Conductors: Saikawa Buntai and David Eben
The live-recording of a concert in the church of the
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · c. 73 Minutes
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***** Amazing - The best of YouTube video!
A listener on YouTube
Review
***** Beautiful
This is stunningly beautiful, particularly track 14. I liked it so much I plan to purchase a couple more for gifts.
Susan B. at Amazon.com
Review
***** Highly recommended
The Tendai monks and the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis ensemble have created a wonderful recording resulting from their mutual collaboration at concerts and liturgy in Prague in 2000 and on tour of Japan in 2005. These meditative encounters focus on interesting contrasts in the two musical languages and expressions, at the same time seeking common elements present in both traditions. Parallels can be found in the recitation of the sacred text or in the interpretation principle of alternating a soloist with a choir, which overlaps the boundaries of confession repertoires. Another striking feature is the tonality based on the pentatonic scale appearing both in shomyo singing and Gregorian chant. This unique collaboration has produced music of mesmerising beauty and intensity. Highly recommended.
New Classics UK
Review
Qobuz Hi-Res Audio
Awarded by Qobuz with the "Hi-Res Audio" March 2012.
Qobuz
Review
***** Raises your spirits and nourishes your soul
Beautiful music. Raises my spirits and nourishes my soul.
Linda Hayes on Amazon.com
Review
I was very moved by these performances
Since chanting-monk CDs are all the rage nowadays, K&K Verlagsanstalt decided to issue this disc of a special concert given at the Maulbronn Monastery in 2008. This concert, sponsored by UNESCO, combined the music of Tendai Buddhist monks from Japan with the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis choir, founded in 1987 in what is now the Czech Republic. The aim was to have the religious chants and hymns of both religions complement each other and create a multi-religious ambience redoubled in effect by the atmosphere of the surroundings.
The experiment works very well indeed. Initially, the two choirs alternate their chants, the Westerners more formal in structure, the Easterners more fluid in theirs. It was interesting for me to hear Japanese monks as compared to Tibetans who are much more familiar here in the U.S. The Japanese monks all chant in a higher pitch, more in the tenor range, although some of their members are capable, as are Tibetans, of "chording" with the voice from time to time. As for Schola Gregoriana Pragensis, they are quite simply a beautiful-sounding group with great feeling in their singing.
As the concert progresses, both choirs begin combining their religious chants to fascinating effect. Despite the musical and cultural differences, everything blends surprisingly well.
This is an excellent recording in every respect and in its own way more universal than many such "chant" CDs out there. In the spirit of the music presented, I feel a little odd recommending the disc, but as you can probably tell I was very moved by these performances.
Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine
G. Fr. Handel · Judas Maccabaeus
2 CD
EUR 33,00G. Fr. Handel · Judas Maccabaeus
George Frideric Handel:
JUDAS MACCABAEUS
The English Oratorio HWV 63, performed according to the traditions of the time
by Sinéad Pratschke (Soprano), Catherine King (Mezzo-Soprano),
Charles Humphries (Countertenor), Mark Le Brocq (Tenor),
Christopher Purves (Bass), Musica Florea Prague,
and the Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor).
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 150 Minutes
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This is a drum beat...
The technical sounding, outstandingly successful recording supplies the discography of the work with an interesting and worth listening to variant on the recordings by Harnoncourt, Gardiner, Marriner and Creed...
Dr. Karl-Georg Berg, DIE RHEINPFALZ
Review
Oratorio in three movements, performed in a historical setting
G.F.Handel's oratorio in three movements, Judas Maccabaeus, is performed in English in a historical setting by Sinéad Pratschke, Catherine King, Charles Humphries, Mark LeBrocq, Christopher Purves, Maulbronner Kammerchor and Musica Florea Prag. Juergen Budday conducts this concert recording from the convent church in Maulbronn.
New Classics UK
Review
Excellent recording
This is an excellent recording of one of Handel's best and most popular oratorios, and is highly recommended...
Classical Music UK & The British Music Society
Review
A surprising, wonderful, buoyant HIP Judas Maccabaeus with an outstanding Sound
I actually received this recording by mistake, but this live performance of Handel's oratorio is absolutely excellent, a refreshing joy to listen to and to return to. For a long time my favorite Maccabaeus has been the Mackerras version on Archiv, with Janet Baker. This recording, conducted by Jurgen Budday, is an Historically Informed Performance, which means they used original instruments and techniques (less string vibrato, smaller orchestra sections with more transparent sound, men using falsetto in place of women in some parts, for example). I will compare the merits of these two. This Budday HIP performance has gotten under my skin for several reasons: the conducting is exciting and very tasteful; the DDD sound is outstanding; the soloists are excellent, fresh, and stylistically intelligent; the HIP orchestra is tight and accompanies the singing deftly! I had never even heard of Jurgen Budday before.
Mackerras is excellent too, so I am not abandoning that recording any time soon; that recording is ADD, on modern instruments, and not all the soloists sound as fresh or as idiomatic as they do on this Budday recording - which really opened my ears.
To begin with Budday's tempi are buoyant - not simply fast, but well sprung. There is an energy which I think comes in part from it being a live performance. Budday's performance is about 20 minutes shorter than Mackerras' and is thus on 2 disks instead of 3. Mackerras is also a lively conductor and knows his way around Handel; in many ways his performance is a revelation, he is very sensitive in the solo accompaniment, and there is never any feeling of dragging. It must be said that both conductors have put themselves at the service of this music - individual personalities do not emerge to over-interpret Handel's musical and dramatic intentions. The music is allowed to speak for itself in both recordings, and the big moments ("See the Conqu'ring Hero", for example) are given their full due, making great impact (and an interesting contrast) in either scale.
The digital sound on the Budday CDs is excellent, catching the details of the soloists, choir, and orchestra as if it were a studio recording, but with the added atmosphere of a live hall - it sounds absolutely great in my listening room (using Yamaha 200W amp, ADS 9 speakers, and Denon CD player equipment). The Mackerras recording has great studio sound which I would characterize as detailed and full, but less atmospheric since it's ADD and not live. It also sounds a little "closer", which is an artifact of being a studio recording.
Budday's soloists are all excellent and have beautiful voices! They all sound young, fresh, and in particular they sound as if they all live with this kind of music. They sing gloriously - bright and strong in the ensembles, tender and quite moving in solos and duets. The choir (Maulbronner Chamber Choir) is less massive than modern performances tend to use - and thus more detailed and clear, and in some places men use falsetto in place of women in some alto solos, to haunting effect. Mackerras' soloists are all great singers, some of whom are opera stars and others whom are known for HIP careers. Janet Baker in particular is simply captivating, and her duets with Felicity Palmer are quite moving. The Wandsworth School Choir, boys, sounds larger and fuller, thus less detailed and clear by comparison. I know some people feel boys choirs sound too homogeneous, but I think it works well here.
Budday's orchestra (Musica Florea Prag) uses original instruments and HIP techniques and they sound wonderful, you hear everything. The string sound is warm (early HIP performances could sound "dry" to modern ears). The playing is technically excellent, crisp, often breathtaking, and always very sensitive. Mackerras' orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, is closer to a modern symphony orchestra. They sound full and warm, with a richness that many listeners have become accustomed to, but they are also crisp and totally inside this music.
What to do, what to do? If you're looking for an accurate rendering of this music that is close to what Handel's audience heard, than this Budday recording is the one. If you're a Janet Baker fan (like I am), then Mackerras will be for you. If you prefer digital sound, then Budday is the way to go (although both sound great). If you like to hear the intricate details in the orchestra and chorus, well, then Budday is for you.
For me, I'll tell ya, I am glad I have both now. I simply cannot make up my mind and I love them both!
R. Nadel 'Opinion Above Knowledge!' (Boulder, CO, USA) on Amazon.com
George Fr. Handel · Belshazzar
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Belshazzar
George Frideric Handel:
B E L S H A Z Z A R
The English Oratorio HWV 61,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Miriam Allan (Soprano), Michael Chance (Countertenor),
Patrick van Goethem (Countertenor), Mark Le Brocq (Tenor),
André Morsch (Bass), Hanoverian Court Orchestra,
and the Maulbronn Chamber Choir.
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 150 Minutes
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***** This is a great recording!
This performance is recorded live! And that's one of the reasons that it is so exciting to hear. Performers and conductor alike are really 'up' for a performance like this, and the listener is rewarded by this experience. No matter that a note here and there may not be perfect, it's really the overall 'high' that this type of rendition gives us. Of course, no need to worry that Maulbronn discs are inferior; just the opposite: excellent singers & instrumentalists and outstanding soloists prevail.
The English passion for the oratorio is largely due to Handel. Every year from 1738 to 1751, he produced at least one. Handel's oratorios, more dramatic than any previously written,were like operas without scenery and costumes. "Balshazzar" is one of a cycle of old testament oratorios by Handel. It is the story of the Babylonian king, Belshazzar, as presented in the biblical story from the book of Daniel. Belshazzar commits sacrilege against the God of the Israelites, upon which a ghostly hand inscribes the mysterious text,the Menetkel, upon the wall of the court,predicting the downfall of the kingdom and the death of Belshazzar at the hands of the Persians. The prophecy is fulfilled that very same night.
Instrumentally and chorally this is a great recording! The characters of Daniel (Michael Chance) and Belshazzar (Mark LeBrocq) are well sung and dramatically convincing as is Nitrocris (Miriam). Gobrias is OK and somewhat convincing at times, but has some difficulty producing well-rounded low tones. But the weakest character both dramatically and vocally is Cyrus (Patrick van Goethem) countertenor. His voice was breathy in the low register and brittle and somewhat off pitch in the upper register. However, I'm really hard on countertenors, so you may not agree! One of the most exciting and well performed parts occurs when the hand of God writes on the wall terrifying Belshazzar; Daniel, the prophet then appears and prophesies in a most frightening manner death and destruction and nobody could have done that better than Chance. RECORDINGS FROM MAULBRONN ARE NEVER DULL!
George Peabody (A voice teacher and early music fan) on Amazon
Review
***** One of The best of Handel's Works
This is a masterpiece to enjoy and pass the treasures of classical music to your children.
'JORALE95' on eMusic.com
Review
A splendid recording
Handel’s spectacular oratorio Belshazzar was composed in 1744, from a libretto by Charles Jennens that describes the fall of Babylon. Less successful in it’s day than the popular Italian opera, Belshazzar is a work on an imposing scale—dramatic, passionate, full of stirring choruses and solos, and a piece which Handel himself described as ‘very grand and uncommon’. The oratorio is full of invention, energy and drama with the Jewish, Babylonian Persian and Medes masses having their own distinctive musical styles that were juxtaposed to create a tense dramatic conflict. Composed in the same year as the splendid Hercules the two oratorios represent the peak of Handel’s dramatic writing. Belshazzar was a failure at the time of its first performance in 1745—contemporary reports speak of a disastrously bad performance—and the oratorio never gained popularity in Handel’s lifetime. Jürgen Budday is director of church music and artistic director of the concert series at the monastery of Maulbronn, of the cantor choir and of the Maulbronn Chamber Choir. He is one of the leading German conductors of historical and modern vocal music, and his previous concert recordings have received international acclaim, including thos of the Handel oratorios Jephtha, Samson, Judas Maccabaeus, Saul and Belshazzar may be one of Handel’s less performed works but is indisputably one of his finest, as is evident from this splendid recording in which the soloists include Mark Le Broque (Belshazzar), soprano Miriam Allan, countertenor Michael Chance and Patrick van Goethem.
new-classics.co.uk
George Fr. Handel · Jephtha
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Jephtha
George Frideric Handel · Jephtha
The English Oratorio HWV 70, performed according to the traditions of the time by Emma Kirkby (Soprano), Melinda Paulsen (Mezzo-Soprano), Charles Humphries (Countertenor), Julian Podger (Tenor), Stephen Varcoe (Bass), Monastery Baroque Orchestra, Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor). Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 150 Minutes
SpotifyiTunes Apple MusicReview
A splendidly atmospheric recording
The oratorio Jephta was George Frideric Handel's last large work, written in 1751 in London and first performed at Covent Garden in the following year. This dramatic and poetic work in three movements reflects the inner aspect of Jephta's unsolvible solitude when he is expelled from Gilead by his half-brothers and grows up in exile. This splendidly atmospheric recording was made at the medeieval Monastery Maulbronn in Germany and fully captures the music's great force and beauty. The performers here include Emma Kirkby (soprano), Melinda Paulsen (mezzo-soprano), Charles Humphries (alto), Julian Podger (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (bass), together with the Barockorchester der Klosterkonzerte, Maulbronner Kammerchor, and conductor Jürgen Budday.
New Classics UK
Review
Clear and beautiful
In this public performance of his last oratorio, recorded and performed at the church of monastery Maulbronn in Germany, the sound is very clear and beautiful...This K&K issue is pleasurable a worthwhile addition to the work´s discography...
John T. Hughes, International Record Review
Review
***** I could not be happier with this superb recording
I have been listening to Jephtha and Samson quite extensively, and I must say that these two recordings are truly impressive. First, the cast of soloists is an absolutely superb assembly of historically-informed performers. It would be hard to find singers any better than Emma Kirkby, Steven Varcoe, Michael Chance. I found all of the performances by the soloists nearly impeccable.
Second, I suspected that the recordings themselves might be filled with ambient and background noises since these were the result of live performances.
I have been extremely pleased with the technical aspects of the recordings: they are 'clean' and clear with very little extraneous sounds. The engineering of these recordings is highly commendable!!
Finally, the orchestral playing by the Barockorchester der Klosterkonzerte and the participation of the Maulbronner Kammerchor are nearly flawless. The string playing is especially strong, and the choruses - filled with drama and emotion - are executed at the highest possible level. Even the pronunciation and intonation of the English is perfect. In sum, I could not be happier with these two superb recordings. Already possessing several recorded versions of each of these masterful oratorios, I felt that it would be difficult to match the strength and quality of, for example, the performance under John Elliot Gardiner.
These two new additions by K&K Verlagsanstalt to the recorded Handel repertoire are magnificent models, exemplary of how to bring these monumental works to life for the modern audience. The crisp, clear recording, the excellent engineering, the incredible acoustics, the superb performances make these two of the best Handel compact discs I have purchased in a long time.
I should be most happy if you would keep my name on your mailing list, since I would like to be informed when your fine enterprise releases any more Baroque repertoire. These are performances to be treasured and are of the highest caliber of historically-informed practice.
Thomas R. McCallum (USA) on Amazon.com
Review
Very impressive
Kirkby shines vocaly, this being a performance to emphasise the profound and the serious. The chorus sing strongly, with warm and rounded tone, and firm lines; several of the choral numbers are very impressive, for example the Part I chorus '0 God, behold our sore distress', which has considerable grandeur. The marvellous chorus that ends Part 2, one of Handel's noblest, 'How dark, 0 Lord, are thy decrees, all hid from human sight' (his blindness overcame him as he wrote it) is well sung. Some of the quicker choruses are done with real vigour and confidence, for example 'When his loud voice' and the jubilant final ones.
The resonant church recording enriches the sound of the choir. The orchestra is hearty and the conductor, Jürgen Budday, draws some buoyant rhythms from them in the faster music.
The strongest inducement to buy this set lies in the loveliness of Emma Kirkby's singing. This is no longer the exquisite, delicate thread of sound that it once was, but it is still exquisite and delicate while being much fuller and richer, and her characterisation of lphis, the daughter of Jephtha who 'must a victim fall' because of his 'impious vow' to sacrifice the first person he encounters after victory. Listen to her wonderfully shapely and natural singing of 'Tune the soft melodious lute', for example, or 'Farewell, ye limpid springs and floods', as she movingly welcomes death.
Storgè is sung with strength and clarity by Melinda Paulsen (who also does the Angel air in Part 3). Jephtha himself is well taken by Julian Podger, a very capable singer. He is at his best in the heroic music, such as 'His mighty arm'. Zebul is warmly and sensitively sung by Stephen Varcoe, Charles Humphries provides an able Hamor, duetting gracefully with Emma Kirkby in two numbers.
Stanley Sadie, Gramophone Magazine
George Fr. Handel · Jephtha
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Jephtha
George Frideric Handel · Jephtha
Complete recording of the English Oratorio HWV 70, performed according to the traditions of the time by Kirsten Blaise (Soprano), Annelie Sophie Müller (Mezzo-Soprano), David Allsopp (Altus, Countertenor), Benjamin Hulett (Tenor), Simon Bailey (Bass), Ensemble il capriccio (Baroque Orchestra), Maulbronn Chamber Choir. Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 163 Minutes (2h:43m)
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Almost three hours of superb-sounding music...
This recording is in many ways a real treasure. Its chief value is that it vividly captures a wonderful performance of Handel’s final oratorio, giving the listener a fine impression of the venue, the medieval Maulbronn monastery in southern Germany. The opening notes of the thrillingly dramatic overture grab the listener’s interest and the well-chosen soloists make a vivid impression.
The story involves the military leader, Jephtha (tenor), who is asked by his brother, Zebul (baritone) to lead the Israelites against their oppressors, the Ammonites. Jephtha vows that, if successful, he will sacrifice the first person he sees after the battle. This turns out to be his daughter, Iphis (soprano). His wife, Storgè (mezzo-soprano) and Iphis’s fiancé Hamor (counter-tenor), are suitably horrified, as are the onlooking Israelites. An angel (soprano) transmutes Iphis's sentence to life as a virgin; hallelujahs are sung.
Benjamin Hulett is outstanding as Jephtha who at first is exuberant when facing his military task, then anguished and horrified at the results of his vow. His accompagnato “Deeper, and deeper still” would be worthy of a musical dramatization of King Lear. The other main role is that of Iphis, sung by American soprano Kirsten Blaise; she also must express a wide range of emotions and carries it off extremely well. Simon Bailey is rich-voiced and stalwart as Zebul, and Annelie Sophie Müller as Storgè is blessed with a voice that has a rosy bloom about it. David Allsopp gets off to an uncertain start as Hamor but in the end rises to full worthy participation in his duet with Iphis, plus a quartet and quintet with the other principals.
The 39-member choir and 26-member orchestra provide exactly the right sound for this great work. The orchestra use specially reconstructed period instruments tuned to the historically accurate a=415 Hz. Jürgen Budday’s tempi are well-judged throughout. Some might find the acoustic to be overly resonant, but I find it helps bring to life a performance I wish I had been able to attend. But there are almost three hours of superb-sounding music on just two CDs.
Still the stated aim of K&K is to capture an outstanding performance in which “the performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that is...unique and unrepeatable”. This they have accomplished.
© 2014 ConcertoNet.com, Michael Johnson
George Fr. Handel · Joshua
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Joshua
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759):
J O S H U A
Unedited version from 1748 of the English Oratorio HWV 64,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Miriam Allan (Soprano), David Allsopp (Countertenor),
Mark Le Brocq (Tenor), James Rutherford (Bass),
Hanoverian Court Orchestra (Hannoversche Hofkapelle),
and the Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor).
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 140 Minutes
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Unique
A unique interpretation of a baroque master piece.
A listener on YouTube
Review
Outstanding with the right balance between voices, orchestra and choir...
The splendid German label, K&K continues to delight eclectic connoisseurs with selected works, mostly choral recorded in the splendid setting of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Maulbronn Monastery in rural Germany.
Handel's 'Joshua', an oratorio which is perhaps rather overlooked when compared to other more copiously played works. However this splendid interpretation which includes some of the world's rising stars in oratorio singing could change that neglect. Budday directs the Hannoversche Hofkapelle with alacrity, never forcing the pace untowardly but at the same time keeping the ebb and flow of the whole work in check.
The recoding is outstanding with just the right balance between voices, orchestra and choir and I really must recommend this beautifully presented set to all lovers of choral music.
Gerald Fenech on Classical Net
Review
An exemplary recording...
George Frideric Handel's Joshua was composed in a month during the summer of 1747. It was the fourth oratorio by the great composer based on a libretto by Thomas Morell, and premiered in 1748 at the Covent Garden Theatre, London. Based on the Biblical stories of Joshua, this is one of Handel's works from the height of his late creative period. Following the Jacobite Rising in England, he produced a series of oratorios based on military themes: Occasional Oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, Alexander Balus, Joshua and Solomon. One of Handel's most famous choruses, 'See the Conq'ring Hero Comes' was originally written for Joshua, although the composer soon added it to the better-known Judas Maccabaeus, which had premiered the season before. The sources, story and style of the two works are similar, but Joshua has perhaps been more underrated and contains some wonderful music, especially in the second act with its splendid opening and closing choruses. This exemplary recording, made in 2007, is part of a cycle of old testament oratorios by G. F. Handel and is performed at Maulbronn monastery. The series combines authentically performed baroque oratorios with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, aided by historically informed performance on reconstructed historical instruments tuned to the pitch customary in the composer's lifetime. Jürgen Budday, artistic director and founder, conducts the excellent Maulbronn Chamber Choir and Hanoverian Court Orchestra, with a fine array of soloists Miriam Allan (soprano), David Allsopp (countertenor), Mark LeBrocq (tenor) and James Rutherford (bass). See also these K&K recordings: BELSHAZZAR, SAUL and DIVINE LITURGY.
new-classics.co.uk
George Fr. Handel · Messiah
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Messiah
George Frideric Handel · Messiah
The complete recording of the English Oratorio HWV 56, performed according to the traditions of the time by Miriam Allan (Soprano), Michael Chance (Countertenor), Mark Le Brocq (Tenor), Christopher Purves (Bass), Hanoverian Court Orchestra, Maulbronn Chamber Choir. Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 140 Minutes
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A rich Messiah of unusually strong Impact
They produced in the hands of conductor Jürgen Budday a rich Messiah of unusually strong impact... aided by fine live engineering in the impressive, sonically clear spaces of Germany's Maulbronn Monastery...
This live German recording of Messiah is based on a manuscript Handel marked up for a performance of the work in Dublin, adding a variety of new dynamic markings and ensemble indications. There's no reason to regard it as quite the definitive version of the work that it is proposed to be by the booklet here; it can equally well be considered an experiment on Handel's part in dealing with the new stylistic currents of his day. For listeners unfamiliar with it, this version carries quite a few surprises. Sampling merely the beginning of the "Hallelujah" chorus, CD 2, track 16, is enough to give the listener an idea of what he or she is getting into as the usually muscular entrance of the choir contracts to a quiet, angelic effect. The work becomes much more varied in texture and a good deal less monumental overall.
It would nevertheless be a shame if this recording were pigeonholed among the Dublin versions, for it has a good deal to offer any Messiah listener. Billed as an uncut, historically informed performance, this recording becomes, in the hands of conductor Jürgen Budday, a nice fusion of the immediate feel of the best historical performances (aided by fine live engineering in the impressive, sonically clear spaces of Germany's Maulbronn Monastery) with a rich, more conventional sound from a good-sized German choir, the Maulbronner Kammerchor.
Budday gives the soloists a chance to stretch out in the recitatives. Collectively the performers capture the different strands of Handel's experience - operatic, English Protestant, solo-oriented, and instrumental - that he brought to bear on this magnificent work, and they produce a rich Messiah of unusually strong impact. The live recording has a few flaws, but they are more than overcome by the edge thus generated. Notes are in German and English, the text is in English.
Review by James Manheim - All Music Guide, allmusic.com
Review
***** Absolutely the finest rendition
I am nearly 60 years old and have heard countless versions of Handel's "Messiah" since I was a boy. Recently I decided to purchase the best recording I could find for MP3 use. Wanting the version most faithful to Handel's baroque style, I easily eliminated most of the recordings I "auditioned" due to the overuse of orchestration, usually performed by unauthentic modern instruments. I also did not want to listen to any more wobbly warbling of soloists who seemed to be more intent on overpowering the listener than on communicating the divine message of the scripture text. Nor did I wish to hear any more sloppy choral performances that muddy the words because of the choir size and poor attack.
I had heard other recordings done with "authentic" or "antique" instruments, some of which are fine, but usually one or two of the soloists have left me disappointed. This version has satisfied every one of my wishes. Where have they been hiding? It is totally delightful, and I have no complaint. I can only hope that more persons will become aware of this recording and add their two bits of comments. If you are one of those persons who enjoys heavy vibrato and heavy orchestration, you might not appreciate this fine Baroque recording. But if you are tired of the same old..... then by all means, give it a try. It is refreshing!
'Monergistic Reader' on Amazon.com
Review
***** Superlative
I've heard many, many versions of "Messiah" in my short 27 years, and this is by far the best. One need only listen to the "Hallelujah Chorus" to appreciate this recording - it is at once intimate and majestic. The restraint that the choir demonstrates in the beginning is remarkable, considering that that chorus is normally an unwieldy, overwhelming, incomprehensible mess. It's not lacking for majesty and bombast, but it's there at appropriate places.
'Dweeb' on Amazon.com
Review
***** A clear, beautiful, authentic Messiah
An absolute gem of a Messiah. Definitely in the stream of the great "authentic" recordings of the work (like Christopher Hogwood's fantastic recording so many years before), this one makes the most of a small orchestra and chorus. The performances are all wonderfully beautiful, from the orchestra and the crystal-clear soloists to the all-male choir. There is an elegant restraint shown in this recording that sets it apart, even amongst some of its contemporaries in the authentic-arrangement camp; This is particularly notable in "Hallelujah". Don't confuse elegance and restraint for dull and boring, however. It is anything but that. This version transports the listener. The sound quality is pristine and, recorded live in concert in a large church, captures the wonderful resonance that atmosphere uniquely provides. This is a lesser-known Messiah that stacks up well against other, more noted performances.
Jacob A. Davis on Amazon.com
George Fr. Handel · Samson
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Samson
George Frideric Handel:
S A M S O N
The English Oratorio HWV 57, performed according to the traditions of the time by Sinéad Pratschke (Soprano), Michael Chance (Countertenor), Mark Le Brocq (Tenor), Raimund Nolte (Baritone), David Thomas (Bass), Monastery Baroque Orchestra, Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor). Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 150 Minutes
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An impressive oratorio
Samson, an impressive oratorio in three movements Georg F. Handel, is performed in a historical setting by Sinéad Pratschke, Michael Chance, Marc LeBrocq, Raimund Nolte, David Thomas, Maulbronner Kammerchor and Barockorchester der Klosterkonzerte. Juergen Budday conducts this double-CD box set concert recording made at the convent church in Maulbronn in 1999.
New Classics UK
Review
Highly recommended
...The sound in this monastery is excellent. This is a beautiful recording of one of Handel's finest oratorios, and is highly recommended.
Classical Music UK & The British Music Society
Review
***** I could not be happier with this superb recording
I have been listening to Jephtha and Samson quite extensively, and I must say that these two recordings are truly impressive. First, the cast of soloists is an absolutely superb assembly of historically-informed performers. It would be hard to find singers any better than Emma Kirkby, Steven Varcoe, Michael Chance. I found all of the performances by the soloists nearly impeccable.
Second, I suspected that the recordings themselves might be filled with ambient and background noises since these were the result of live performances.
I have been extremely pleased with the technical aspects of the recordings: they are 'clean' and clear with very little extraneous sounds. The engineering of these recordings is highly commendable!!
Finally, the orchestral playing by the Barockorchester der Klosterkonzerte and the participation of the Maulbronner Kammerchor are nearly flawless. The string playing is especially strong, and the choruses - filled with drama and emotion - are executed at the highest possible level. Even the pronunciation and intonation of the English is perfect.
In sum, I could not be happier with these two superb recordings. Already possessing several recorded versions of each of these masterful oratorios, I felt that it would be difficult to match the strength and quality of, for example, the performance under John Elliot Gardiner.
These two new additions by K&K Verlagsanstalt to the recorded Handel repertoire are magnificent models, exemplary of how to bring these monumental works to life for the modern audience. The crisp, clear recording, the excellent engineering, the incredible acoustics, the superb performances make these two of the best Handel compact discs I have purchased in a long time.
I should be most happy if you would keep my name on your mailing list, since I would like to be informed when your fine enterprise releases any more Baroque repertoire. These are performances to be treasured and are of the highest caliber of historically-informed practice.
Thomas R. McCallum (USA) on Amazon.com
George Fr. Handel · Saul
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Saul
George Frideric Handel:
S A U L
The English Oratorio HWV 53, performed according to the traditions of the time
by Nancy Argenta (Soprano), Laurie Reviol (Soprano),
Michael Chance (Countertenor), Mark Le Brocq (Tenor),
Michael Berner (Tenor), Stephen Varcoe (Bass), Steffen Balbach (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 · 2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 150 Minutes
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A superb listening treat
LIVE PERFORMANCE FROM MAULBRONN BRINGS 'SAUL' TO LIFE!
I have just finished listening to the oratorio 'SAUL' from Maulbronn conducted by Jurgen Budday. It leaves me breathless with it's high drama and excellent singing. The fact that this is a LIVE performance makes it all the more exciting to hear... This is a superb listening treat!
George Peabody 'Ariel' on Amazon
(A voice teacher and early music fan from Carlisle, Pa. USA)
Review
Spendidly performed
Georg Frideric Handel’s glorious oratorio in three movements, Saul, is splendidly performed here in English by Nancy Argenta, Laurie Reviol, Michael Chance, Mark LeBrocq, Michael Berner, Stephen Varcoe and Steffen Balbach, together with the Hannoversche Hofkapelle and Maulbronner Kammerchor, conducted by Juergen Budday. This atmospheric concert recording was made in 2002 in the historical setting of the beautiful convent church of Maulbronn. Other albums in the beautifully produced Maulbronn Edition from K & K include performances of Gounod’s Missa Solemnis (ISBN 3-930643-63-4) and an cappella concert, Goettliche Liturgie, with Don Kosaken singing works from the Russian Missa (ISBN 3-930643-72-3). For more informion, see the K&K website.
new-classics.co.uk
George Fr. Handel · Solomon
2 CD
EUR 33,00George Fr. Handel · Solomon
George Frideric Handel:
S O L O M O N
The English Oratorio HWV 67,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Nancy Argenta (Soprano), Laurie Reviol (Soprano),
Michael Chance (Countertenor), Julian Podger (Tenor),
Steffen Balbach (Bass), Hanoverian Court Orchestra
and Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
HD Recording · 2-CD-Box · DDD · Duration: c. 150 Minutes
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I assure you that all Oratorios from Maulbronn are first-rate
This CD is the first one that I heard from Maulbronn and I was stunned by the entire performance! It was exciting both vocally and instrumentally; I found it impossible to pause even for sustenance. Jurgen Budday has assembled a great lineup of soloists who projected their respective roles perfectly. For the most part the words of the chorus were understandable and created the proper dramatic tension. Michael Chance as Solomon displayed his usual skill in getting inside the role and the songs. The scene with the 2 harlots who were both claiming the same child was compellingly realistic. So many great songs by Handel on this disc I wouldn't want to have missed it! Since then I have purchased 4 more Oratorios from Maulbronn.
I assure you that they are all first-rate!
George Peabody 'Ariel' on Amazon.com
(A voice teacher and early music fan from Carlisle, Pa. USA)
Glass & Stones
CD
EUR 22,00Glass & Stones
Glass & Stones
A concert with the Vienna Glass Armonica Duo (Glass Armonica & Verrophone), Christa Schönfeldinger (Glass Armonica) & Gerald Schönfeldinger (Verrophone). plays works by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Gottfried Keller (1819-1890), Carl Röllig (1754-1804), Edward Grieg (1843-1907), Arvo Pärt, Ennio Morricone and Gerald Schönfeldinger.
A concert recording from the basilica of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · ca. 55 minutes
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One of the most satisfying glass harmonica discs ever
The Vienna Glasharmonika Duo, consisting of husband and wife Gerald and Christa Schönfeldinger, is one of the longest established groups wholly devoted to performing music written for glass and their K&K-Verlagsanstalt release Glas & Steine (Glass & Stone) is of an in-concert recording from the summer of 2006. Christa Schönfeldinger performs on a reconstructed instrument that is almost exactly like the glass armonica that Benjamin Franklin invented in 1761 rather than the crystal glasses in a suitcase instrument more commonly used since Bruno Hoffman revived glass music in the 1950s. Gerald Schönfeldinger plays a modern instrument called a Verrophon that consists of a set of test tube-like glasses and contributes three original compositions to the program written in an idiom very well suited to this exotic combination of instruments. The recording, touted as a "Direct 2-Track Stereo" release, is excellent, made at Maulbronn Monastery in Austria, which has superb acoustics. Although the program includes the expected Mozart K. 617a and arrangements of some other pieces by him, it does expand upon our notions of glass harmonica music. Especially notable is the inclusion of Arvo Pärt's Intervallo, written in open score and usually played on the organ but perfectly well suited to the glass harmonica. Ennio Morricone's Il Gatto is included as a way to vary the sound of the program, which includes some glasses as struck with soft mallets in addition to the usual bowing with the fingertip. However, the most striking piece is Vienna Glasharmonika Duo's transcription of Edvard Grieg's lyric piece Der Kobold, which succeeds well in stretching the boundaries of these instruments, demonstrating that fast passagework is possible and the glass harmonica need not be limited to long, sustained notes, even though that's the kind of musical texture that suits it best.... ...Glas & Steine is one of the most satisfying glass harmonica discs ever. The resonance of Maulbronn Monastery helps take the edge off the sometimes-piercing top notes of the glass - notable especially in studio-made recordings - and provides an ambience that is appropriately ghostly and evocative...
Uncle Dave Lewis - All Music Guide
Handel/Mozart · The Messiah / Der Messias K. 572
2 CD
EUR 33,00Handel/Mozart · The Messiah / Der Messias K. 572
Handel/Mozart · Der Messias (Messiah)
Complete recording of Mozart's reorchestration and arrangement of the English oratorio HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel (sung in German), performed according to the traditions of the time by Marlis Petersen (Soprano), Margot Oitzinger (Alto), Markus Schäfer (Tenor), Marek Rzepka (Bass), the Hanoverian Court Orchestra and the Maulbronn Chamber Choir. Conductor: Jürgen Budday.
A concert recording from the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
2-CD-Box · DDD · 133 Minutes
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A superior version of Mozart's unique effort
Mozart's arrangement of Handel's Messiah, made in 1789, relates to his involvement in the circle of musical connoisseurs surrounding the Baron Gottfried van Swieten, Viennese nobleman and aficionado of the monuments of Baroque music. It is, as the booklet here aptly puts it, a "cover version" (the German participle, charmingly enough, is "gecovert") of Handel's work, neither a radical rethinking nor a light rescoring.
Mozart adds a good deal of wind scoring, often arranging things so that the winds peek out with a wink toward the end of an aria. The treatments of the flute and bassoon are playful and very Mozartian, yet the music, with the exception of one number, "Wenn Gott ist für uns" (CD 2, No. 23), is Handel's. Even that number, in which the original aria is discarded in favor of a new recitative, has subtle echoes of the original intervallic structure in Mozart's new music, and in the big choruses Mozart plays it straight.
The biggest change for the casual listener is the one from English to the German of van Swieten himself, working from an earlier translation by Friedrich Klopstock and Christoph Ebeling. If "Alle Tale" does not have quite the ringing quality of "Ev'ry valley," "Herr der Herrn, der Götter Gott" gets the message across. Conductor Jürgen Budday, leading the Hannoversche Hofkapelle, offers a spirited reading that reveals many of the score's smaller details. Although the soprano of Marlis Petersen is a bit outsized for a work that was originally performed with only 12 singers and has, for all the monumentality of Handel's Messiah, a certain intimate quality, this is a superior version of Mozart's unique effort, benefiting from the edge of live performance in a sonically spectacular venue. The booklet is helpful, quoting extensively from a detailed eighteenth century essay on Mozart's effort.
Review by James Manheim - All Media Guide, allmusic.com
Review
A really excellent production with vitality and great energy
The small but enterprising German label K&K continue to regale the discerning collector with lavish productions of selected works in the magnificent setting of the UNESCO World Heritage Maulbronn Monastery in Germany.
After releasing what can only be termed as a rather excellent 'Messiah' they have now turned their attentions to the Mozart arrangement of the same work sung in German. With such miraculous acoustics available, the recording is truly a sonic gem especially with the distinguished and alert playing of the Hannover Chamber Orchestra which infuses the orchestral parts Mozart composed with vitality and great energy.
The quartet of soloists does not include any real big names but they are all of the highest quality. I was particularly taken with Marlies Peterson whose ethereal capacity for high notes reminds one of the more highly rated Renée Fleming. Rzepka is also very strong as the bass whilst the monastery choir sings with élan and perfect diction, being here on home ground.
Booklet notes are suitably ample as are the recording details which include some stunning photographs of the performance. If you are looking for a high quality 'Messiah' in the Mozart arrangement, then you should look no further than this really excellent German production.
Gerald Fenech on Classical Net
Haydn · Grand duos pour deux guitares
CD
EUR 22,00Haydn · Grand duos pour deux guitares
Joseph Haydn · François de Fossa:
Grand duos pour deux guitares
Four divertimentos for stringquartet by Joseph Haydn, edited for guitar-duo by François de Fossa (1775-1849), performed with historical guitares from the 19th century by the ensemble Duo Sonare: Jens Wagner & Thomas Offermann
A concert recording from the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
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***** Elegant music with a superb sound...
These are pleasing contemporary arrangements of Haydn's relatively little-known Divertimenti for string quartet. Undemanding, elegant music which adapts well to the two guitar medium, and has an added interest because this duo plays always on instruments of the respective musical era, rebuilt copies: 'after all, they played on new guitars back then, so why should we have to give concerts with old ones?' !
The sound as recorded in the Laymen Refectory of the 1147 Maulbronn Monastery is superb, and the pleasure vastly enhanced by looking at the fabulous website, with pictures instantly putting you right into the ambience of this World Heritage Site where some 25 concerts are held annually.
Andy Smith on Amazon.com
Review
A superb guitar duo
I was absolutely privileged to witness three concerts by this superb guitar duo. I own all their recordings and don't feel there are many better at historical guitar interpretation than they.
Toka Reva on YouTube
J. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of God
CD
EUR 22,00J. S. Bach · About the Kingdom of God
Johann S. 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
WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
Audio CD · DDD · Duration: c. 78 Minutes
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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 Minor
2 CD
EUR 33,00J. S. Bach · Mass in B Minor
Johann S. 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
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 112 Minutes
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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 Requiem
CD
EUR 22,00Johannes Brahms · A German Requiem
Johannes Brahms · A German Requiem
Ein deutsches Requiem Opus 45
The "London Version" (sung in German)
for 2 soloists, choir and four-hand piano,
arranged by the composer, with
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
CD · DDD · Duration: c. 70 Minutes
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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 Judgement
CD
EUR 22,00Louis Spohr · The Last Judgement
Louis Spohr · 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
CD · DDD · c. 81 Minutes
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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 & Sorrow
CD
+HD* - Audio Downloads and HD Audio Downloads are available via international stores. Find links here.
EUR 22,00Maulbronn 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.
CD · DDD · Duration: c. 75 Minutes
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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
Max Bruch · Moses
2 CD
EUR 33,00Max 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
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 120 Minutes
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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 · Moses
MP3
EUR 19,80Max Bruch · Moses
Max Bruch · Moses, 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
DDD · Duration: 120 Min. 55 Sec.
MP3 · 320kBit/sec. · 15 Tracks
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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 · Elijah
2 CD
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EUR 33,00Mendelssohn · 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
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 136 Minutes
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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 & 23
CD
EUR 22,00Mozart · 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 UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
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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
Musica Sacra · Die Zeit
CD
EUR 22,00Musica 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) & 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 UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
CD · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
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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 Telemann
CD
EUR 22,00Musique baroque de Telemann
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
CD · DDD · c. 73 Minutes
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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
Rossini: Stabat Mater & Gounod: Missa Solemnis
2 CD
EUR 33,00Rossini: Stabat Mater & Gounod: Missa Solemnis
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
2-CD-Box · DDD · c. 130 Minutes
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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
Schubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate Letters
CD
EUR 22,00Schubert: The Death And The Maiden & Janácek: Intimate Letters
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
CD · DDD · c. 65 Minutes
SpotifyClassics OnlineReview
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
String Quartets by Veress & Beethoven
CD
EUR 22,00String Quartets by Veress & Beethoven
Veress & Beethoven: String Quartets
The Orpheus Quartet plays
Sandor Veress: Stringquartet No. 2,
Ludwig van Beethoven: Stringquartet op. 59/2, E minor,
Franz Schubert: Stringquartet in C minor, D 703
A concert recording from monastery Maulbronn
CD · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
SpotifyClassics OnlineReview
A terrific performance...
A terrific performance and the equally rare chance to hear one of Europe's most thoughtful Ensembles. Sándor Veress has been overshadowed by his Hungarian compatriots, but on the rare occasions when I encounter his music I always find it worth hearing. His First Quartet, premiered in Prague in 1935 but written four years earlier, is demonstrably from the same soil as Bartók and Kodály, but quite individual. Its first movement is in slow-fast-slow form, after which comes an Andante and finally a highly rhythmic Vivo. The German based Orpheus Quartet gives a terrific performance to end this concert, recorded live in the convent at Maulbronn... The disc is worth pursuing for the rare Veress and the equally rare chance to hear one of Europe´s most thoughtful ensembles. Since the disc was made, the Orpheus has changed its second violinist and we have had the appalling news of the death of leader Charles-André Linale.
Tully Potter, The Strad UK
Review
***** A real feeling of being in the concert
I first heard the Orpheus Quartet in Spain and have collected their studio recordings. I was eager to hear them again, and K&K's series of live concert recordings from Maulbronn has given me an opportunity to hear how they were playing two years on. However, whilst writing this review, I am saddened to learn from the Orpheus Quartet website that their leader, Charles-André Linale, was killed in a car crash last month. Chamber music is given in the lay refectory, and reverberation is long during pauses after Beethoven's sf chords, but you soon get used to that, and it is more than compensated for by the bloom on the sound - you have a real feeling of being there with the audience. The Orpheus four have exactly the right feeling for the not-easy Schubert Quartettsatz and Beethoven's Op. 59/2, which can be a long haul; with all repeats, it was gripping from beginning to end. In this June 2002 concert their novelty was a quartet by Sandor Veress, an excellent composer heard infrequently in UK. Without any studio editing, the accuracy of these performances is remarkable and testifies to the good health of this top string quartet in what, it transpires, will have been one of their last recorded concerts with their multinational founder members; the exceptional performance of the Beethoven a worthy memorial for Charles-André Linale.
Andy Smith on Amazon.com
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