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Chorale Masses and Sacred Concertos
By Hermann Max and Rheinische Kantorei. By Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630), and Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow (1663-1712). Classical. CD. Naxos #6020169-2. Published by Naxos (NX.6020169-2).
Item Number: NX.6020169-2
Five hundred years ago the Reformation occasioned an upsurge in the production of church music, and even today Luther's powerful sacred hymns continue to be mainstays in Lutheran religious services. However, Luther's fruitful juxtaposition of "transmitted" and "modern" music shows that he was also fond of drawing on songs from the "old church." The Lutheran chorale masses recorded by Hermann Max with his Rheinische Kantorei on vinyl more than thirty years ago represent a special form within these parallel- or shared- relational worlds. Even then the MDG sound engineers used the latest digital technology for the recording. Along with the chorale masses by Christoph Bernhard, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, and Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer, Hermann Max presents three works that were highly modern during their times. Schein's composed interpretations of his source texts ventured onto terrain normally reserved for theologians- at least in the old church. But this too is in the spirit of the Reformation: the "priesthood of all believers" can of course not be excluded from the musical sphere! And so this valuable new edition expands our view of Protestant church music, from a much too rarely considered but welcome perspective.