Magnificent rarities: Melchior Franck’s gospel motets offer important testimony to Reformation religious liturgical practice at the beginning of the seventeenth century as well as compelling illustrations of biblical teaching texts. Franck translates the words of scripture into musical pictures promising to go straight to the listener’s heart in this rendition by the Northern German Chamber Choir.
For each Sunday and feast day Melchior Franck wrote a motet, and Maria Jürgensen has selected a representative sampling from throughout the church year for her Northern German Chamber Choir. Textual intelligibility is of course the top priority, and the sixteen vocalists – sometimes in alternation with a female soloist and the lute – exemplarily master this task with trim tonal delineation and a fine feel for what may seem to be simple settings but in fact have been crafted with fine art.
The tipsy guests at the wedding at Cana reel in descending sequences, one hears the crumbs falling from the table, and one imagines that one is growing weary along with the disciples when the Savior withdraws for prayer during his last evening in the garden of Gethsemane. The temptation by Satan seems to unfold before our ears, and the loud voice impressively resounds from heaven. And the lightning flash in Motet No. 67 – but we’ve already revealed too much!
The fine acoustics of the Bernitt village church lend these predominantly homophonic settings just the right musical color for full vocal radiance. The 3D recording in 2+2+2 sound completely transports the listener into this sacred space and does so with an opulence that makes one forget the technical side of the recording process. A musical celebration!