Music for Gottorf Castle, Vol. 4
Gottorf Castle in Schleswig is not only one of Schleswig-Holstein's most important architectural monuments but also of great cultural significance because of the chapel masters who were active in the castle's court ensemble. Following releases with sacred cantatas by Augustin Pfleger and Johann Philipp Förtsch and psalms and cantatas by Georg Österreich, Vol. 4 of our Music for Gottorf Castle series with the WESER-RENAISSANCE ensemble under Manfred Cordes turns to Gottorf funeral and memorial music for state occasions by Michael and Georg Österreich and Johann Philipp Förtsch. The music for the services commemorating members of the ducal family comprises the most magnificent works extant from the Gottorf court. No compositional means were spared, and all available musical resources were tapped in order to meet the high interpretive requirements and standards. Here Gottorf assumes a key position. For the years around 1700 it is the only court enabling us to form such a perspective; funeral compositions have not been transmitted elsewhere. All the works were first heard in the Schleswig Cathedral, the site of the ducal crypt. The acoustic circumstances of today's church, with its interior essentially distinguished by installations from the seventeenth century, correspond almost unchanged to those existing when the works recorded here were first performed.