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  Rathgeber: Messe von Muri, Concertos - Cappella Murensis
  Johann Valentin Rathgeber: Messe von Muri, Concertos (from "Chelys sonora" Op. 6)

Cappella Murensis
Ensemble Arcimboldo
Johannes Strobl (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 1

Review by canonical March 9, 2009 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Rathgeber (1682-1750) was an almost perfect contemporary of Bach.

This SACD features:

* Rathgeber
- Muri Mass
- six concertos for variously, violin, clarinet, and trumpet;


Telonius: Concerto for trumpet marine.

According to the programme notes, the Muri Mass was writtten in 1731, apparently to thank the Benedictine monastery of Kloster Muri for accommodating Herr Rathgeber during his travels. The work was re-discovered in 2002 and this is the first recording, recorded in the church of Muri in Switzerland.

This is a beautifully produced SACD, in almost every aspect: packaging, programme notes, recording quality, and performance. It is a delicate and authentic church performance. Although recorded within the church, there is no obvious or irritating echo - far from it, the overriding sense is one of clarity and balance (with one exception ... see below).

For me, the highlight of the disk is about 50 seconds into the Agnus Dei (track 5) of the Muri Mass, with the glorious bass sound of Marcus Niedermeyer, followed by, tucked away at the rear of the disk:

Track 11: Rathgeber Violin Concerto:
Track 12: Rathgeber Concerto for Clarinet and Trumpet

The latter are not trivial works - they are very fine concerti. The Ensemble Arcimboldo produce a clear, clean and crisp, yet warm, string sound, with superbly precise playing. Really superb baroque playing.

But what, in my view, spoils the performance of the Mass, and of the Telonius Concerto (Track 10), is the inclusion of a droning and pervasive muffled kettledrum. Monty Python fans will understand the expression: "Shut that bloody bouzouki up". So too for Mr Kettledrum - thumping away with constant idiocy through almost everything. This is presumably not the kettledrum players fault, of course: the fault lies higher up the food chain. Fortunately, the Rathgeber concerti are spared the doof doof.

Recording quality: 5
Performance: 5 (when kettledrum is not playing), 3 otherwise. What to do?? It's sad, because one appalling artistic decision has spoilt parts of an otherwise absolutely brilliant disc.

Even if the Muri Mass and the Telonius concerto have been ravaged, I would still highly recommend the disc for its many splendid parts.

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Works: 8  

Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Concerto I in B flat major for Violin (from "Chelys sonora", Op. 6)
Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Concerto IV in G major for Violin (from "Chelys sonora", Op. 6)
Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Concerto VI in D minor for Violin (from "Chelys sonora", Op. 6)
Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Concerto XIII in D major for Tromba marina (from "Chelys sonora", Op. 6)
Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Concerto XIV in D major for Clarinet and Trumpet (from "Chelys sonora", Op. 6)
Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Concerto XIX in C major for Clarinet (from "Chelys sonora", Op. 6)
Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Concerto XX in C major for Trumpet (from "Chelys sonora", Op. 6)
Johann Valentin Rathgeber - Missa XII solennis in D major from "Missale tum rurale tum civile", Op. 12