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Baroque Cantatas from Gdansk
By Andrzej Szadejko, Franziska Gottwald, Goldberg Baroque Ensemble, Goldberg Vocal Ensemble, Hermann Oswald, Marie Smolka, and Markus Flaig. By Johann Balthasar Christian Freislich, Johann Daniel Pucklitz, Johann Valentin Meder (1649-1719), and Johann Jeremias Du Grain. Classical. Hybrid SACD. Naxos #9021989-6. Published by Naxos (NX.9021989-6).
Item Number: NX.9021989-6
When Gdansk, then German-speaking and protestant Danzig, under the reign of the Polish king, was an independent and prosperous center of trade and commerce, it also enjoyed the status of a magnificent and multifaceted music center. However, many of the sources documenting its rich cultural heritage are no longer extant, most of them destroyed by war. Andrzej Szadejko has researched the historic holdings of the Gdansk Library of Polish Academy of the Sciences and made surprising discoveries. On this world-premiere recording he leads the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble in performances of seven Baroque cantatas in every way equaling the originality and mastery of works by much more famous composers of those times. The names of the composers - Meder, Pucklitz, Freislich, and du Grain - surely will be known to only a few music experts Johann Balthasar Christian Freislich's cantata ""Gott ist die Liebe"" demonstrates that he is a match for even the greatest Baroque masters. The fine art of the aria ""Gott gleichet einem grossen Meere"" puts the soloists to the ultimate test, and teh style and melodic sumptuousness of ""Wer in der Liebe Gottes bleibet"" might have been born of an opera by Handel. Johann Daniel Pucklitz displays a personal signature and originality. The tenor aria ""Lass mich Jesu dir entgegen"" forms an absolute high point on this album. Even the accompaniment with the obbligato bassoon and basso continuo makes us sit up and listen, and when at teh end of his life the singerrepresenting humankind surrenders his spirit to his Creator in a peaceful idyll, the chorus joins in to the sound of the trumpet and with ""Ende gut, alles gut"" - thereby producing a magnificent sound impression.