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Opella Nova, Fontana d'Israel

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hortus
  • ASIN: B003C1SQ6Y
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 795,022 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Opella Nova - Ensemble Sagittarius - Ensemble Sagittarius
2. Fontana D'Israel - Ensemble Sagittarius - Ensemble Sagittarius

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Midgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a lovely disc of sacred music from the German early baroque. Johann Hermann Schein is perhaps the least known today of the trio of contemporaries known as the three S's - Schütz, Scheidt and Schein - but his music is expressive and beautifully crafted, and amply rewards a hearing. On disc his most frequently recorded works have been the attractive instrumental suites of the Banchetto Musicale, and the sacred concertos of Fontana d'Israel or Israelsbrünnlein. These latter make up around half the pieces on the present disc, but personally I have an especially soft spot for the other works here which are from the rarely recorded Opella Nova I.

Unlike the Fontana d'Israel pieces, which are very much in the Italian madrigal style, the Opella Nova sacred concerti are settings of Lutheran chorales, based on Protestant vernacular texts and melodies. They are sung by one, two or three voices - one voice per part here - with concerted instrumental support. The first work on the disc, 'Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam', is a lovely example, with the hymn tune being stated in simple form by the first soprano, together with elaborate and graceful embellishments by the second. The effect is really beautiful, further enhanced by the instrumental accompaniment with especially fine bassoon tone in the continuo. Later on, the setting of 'Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her' (track 14) is graced with lovely soprano duetting, singing embellishments over the chorale plainly stated in the tenor part. And at the end of the disc (track 17) the chorale 'Komm heiliger Geist' is gloriously set by Schein, once again with the beautiful hymn tune stated in the tenor part and with two sopranos weaving decorative garlands around it.
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