A two-CD set devoted to the Lutheran liturgical repertory from Martin Luther himself to Heinrich Schütz. The first disc comprises compositions specific to the Lutheran liturgy: Deutsche Messe, Deutsches Magnificat, Deutsche Passion (the first German polyphonic Passion, by Joachim von Burck) and even a reconstruction of a Deutsches Requiem drawn from polyphonic works that set the same texts as those Brahms was later to use for his Deutsches Requiem. The second disc presents a selection of motets arranged according to the liturgical calendar, from Advent to Trinity. These polyphonic pieces were written by a wide range of composers including Martin Luther, Andreas Hammerschmidt, Michael Praetorius, Joachim von Burck, Christoph Bernhardt, Heinrich Schütz, Thomas Selle, Melchior Franck, Caspar Othmayr, Michael Altenburg, Samuel Scheidt, Johann Hermann Schein and Johann Walter. The organist Bart Jacobs completes the programme with a few organ pieces by seventeenth-century composers.
“This year has seen several fine recordings celebrating the quincentenary of the founding act of the Reformation but this is comfortably the most searching and artistically rewarding that I’ve listened to. “
“Lionel Meunier’s assured direction never misses (nor overstates) an expressive trick; and Vox Luminis’s warmly inflected singing is throughout finely-attuned to the way in which every note has its exact place in sustaining the whole. A superb anthology, superbly executed.”
– BBC Music Magazine
“In short, this is a winner all round, and deserves to be taken up by historians and music lovers alike.”
– Music Web International
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