First performed at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 1776 La passione di nostro Signore Gesu Cristo is a work of Salieri’s early maturity. It’s a passion oratorio but one that gorges on operatic convention to make its powerfully dramatic points. If it’s further to be anatomised, the traditional recitative-aria and solo and chorus block voicings also faithfully follow operatic form and so Azione sacra is as good a term as oratorio to describe Salieri’s work.
Ten years ago, the great tenor Peter Schreier took his stage farewell, Eighty years ago he was born in Meissen. He remains considered one of the greatest lyric tenors in the German-speaking world – with a repertoire ranging from the great Opera roles to oratorio and Lied. One of the gems of his discography is his recording of Schumann’s Lied cycles “Dichterliebe” and “Liederkreis” from 1991, accompanied by Christoph Eschenbach on the piano, now re-released for Schreier’s 80th birthday on 29 July, 2015.
BIS has previously released two discs with Malmö Symphony Orchestra performing symphonies by Gösta Nystroem (1890–1966). The cycle is completed with the present CD, which contains the first of the composer's six symphonies, Sinfonia breve, as well as the third, and perhaps most well-known, Sinfonia del mare.
Interesting that the librettist of this oratorio, none other than Pietro Metastasio, avoids biblical passages completely. In doing so, this lets in an emotive realism that allows a quasi-operatic treatment by Prague-born Myslivecek. The composer's penchant for Metastasio in his thirty-odd operas obviously extended to oratorio. The apostle Peter becomes a major figure in the drama. Absent from the crucifixion itself, he has to make urgent enquiry into the state of play. Enter Mary Magdalene - a Biblical character under much re-evaluation in current spirituality - who accompanied Jesus to the cross. Other characters include John (here of course Giovanni), the second eyewitness, Joseph of Arimathea (Giuseppe).
Die Hamburger Ratsmusik: ein Ensemble mit 500-jähriger Geschichte. Dieser Gegensatz reizt zum kreativen Dialog zwischen Tradition und Gegenwart, von Alter Musik und lebendiger Interpretation. Die Anfänge der Hamburger Ratsmusik reichen zurück bis ins 16. Jahrhundert. Nach dem Grundsatz „Gott zu Ehren und Hamburg zur Lust, Ergötzlichkeit und Nutz“ leistete sich die Stadt ein Eliteensemble von acht Ratsmusikern, das vielen fürstlichen Hofkapellen Konkurrenz machen konnte.
German composer Paul Hindemith wrote concertos for nearly every instrument in the orchestra. Here you get a concert for one of the most common instruments, the violin, along with two distinctively textured orchestral works, the giant Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by C.M. von Weber and the somewhat obscure Konzertmusik für Streichorchester und Blechbläser (Concert Music for Strings and Brass Instruments), the earliest piece on the program (it was written in 1930).