Schein Vocal Works

Author: 
Tess Knighton

Schein Vocal Works

  • Ringstum mich schwebet Traurigkeit
  • Kickehihi, kakakanei
  • Heulen und schmerzlichs Weinen
  • O seidene Härelein
  • Ihr Brüder, lieben Brüder mein
  • Diletti pastorali, O Amarilli zart
  • Diletti pastorali, Aurora schön mit ihrem Haar
  • Diletti pastorali, Als Filli schön und fromm
  • Diletti pastorali, In Filli schönen Äugelein
  • Diletti pastorali, Unlängst dem blinden Göttelein
  • Diletti pastorali, Wie kömmt's, o zarte Filli mein
  • Diletti pastorali, Cupido blind, das Venuskind
  • Diletti pastorali, Wenn Filli ihre Liebesstrahl
  • Diletti pastorali, O Amarilli, schönste Zier
  • Diletti pastorali, All wilden Tier im grünen Wald
  • Diletti pastorali, O, Venus und Cupido blind
  • Diletti pastorali, Amor, das liebe Räuberlein
  • Diletti pastorali, Mirtillo hat ein Schäfelein
  • Diletti pastorali, Die Vöglein singen
  • Diletti pastorali, Mein Schifflein lief im wilden Meer
  • Frischauf, ihr Kosterbrüder mein
  • O Scheiden, O bitter Scheiden
  • Ringstum mich schwebet Traurigkeit
  • Kickehihi, kakakanei
  • Heulen und schmerzlichs Weinen
  • O seidene Härelein
  • Ihr Brüder, lieben Brüder mein
  • Diletti pastorali, O Amarilli zart
  • Diletti pastorali, Aurora schön mit ihrem Haar
  • Diletti pastorali, Als Filli schön und fromm
  • Diletti pastorali, In Filli schönen Äugelein
  • Diletti pastorali, Unlängst dem blinden Göttelein
  • Diletti pastorali, Wie kömmt's, o zarte Filli mein
  • Diletti pastorali, Cupido blind, das Venuskind
  • Diletti pastorali, Wenn Filli ihre Liebesstrahl
  • Diletti pastorali, O Amarilli, schönste Zier
  • Diletti pastorali, All wilden Tier im grünen Wald
  • Diletti pastorali, O, Venus und Cupido blind
  • Diletti pastorali, Amor, das liebe Räuberlein
  • Diletti pastorali, Mirtillo hat ein Schäfelein
  • Diletti pastorali, Die Vöglein singen
  • Diletti pastorali, Mein Schifflein lief im wilden Meer
  • Frischauf, ihr Kosterbrüder mein
  • O Scheiden, O bitter Scheiden

Diletti pastorali (''Pastoral delights'') is the title of Johann Hermann Schein's 1624 collection of Italian-style madrigals, and how appropriate it is, for the music—which I did not know before—is absolutely delightful. So is this recording. Cantus Colln is a recently formed group of solo singers either native to or resident in Germany, some of whom—like David Cordier and Wilfried Jochens—are well known in this country from other contexts, but who here blend together extraordinarily well in virtuoso performances that are quite stunning in their expressivity and nuance. No problems with the language here: how flexible yet precise is the German, the words as clear as a crystal stream but at times touched as lightly as a dragonfly hovering over its surface. All this is absolutely essential to the music, for Schein proves himself to be a master of the idiom and of the delicate balance at play in the relationship of words to music. Some of the texts are believed to be by Schein himself, but it is clear that for him musical considerations were constantly to the fore, the very conventionality of the textual imagery allowing flights of musical fancy that work on two levels, bringing out by turn the specific pictorial element or the general underlying emotion with unerring aptness.
The influence of Monteverdi in terms of harmonic language and contrast of texture is very apparent in the Diletti pastorali, which could almost be said here to form a 'sweet Phyllis' cycle. A few drinking and other songs are introduced from other collections to add variety (some have a decidedly more Germanic flavour). This is almost counter-effective (Frischauf, ihr Klosterbruder mein, for example, seems quite out of place in the recording, though I can see it would make an excellent encore, as would the indubitably humorous cockerel song), as there is sufficient contrast within the pastoral idiom—Phyllis may be tripping it sometimes, but at others she, or others on her behalf, can lament as effectively as Arianna.
The basic combination of five singers (SATTB) is supported and coloured by either harpsichord or lute (the latter played by the director of the ensemble, Konrad Junghanel). The muted tone colours of the lute work particularly well in this context: try the magical sound world of O Scheiden, o bitter Scheiden with its floaty upper voices, sung with brilliant effortlessness by Johann Koslowsky and David Cordier. This recording opened up for me a new vein in the mining of the musical past: the latent gleam of the raw metal is here polished to a very high degree. Highly recommended.'

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