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Album at a Glance

ChoirTonal and Consonant
Carus Record Label - Carus-Verlag: Mission: “To publish both little known choral works from all eras in critical editions and reliable editions of older works which do not conform to the standards of modern editorial practice... continually expanding the repertoire available to choirs.”
Release date: 2012-05-29

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The Wonderful Choral Music of Heinrich von Herzogenberg

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“As exceptional as this music is, the success of the album is equally due to the superb interpretations provided by Markus Utz and the Ensemble Cantissimo.”

For anyone who loves choral music from the late romantic period, this lovely program from the little known composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg is highly recommended.

Herzogenberg was a contemporary and friend of Johannes Brahms. He was clearly inspired and influenced by that great composer’s choral music. The selections on this album are drawn from four sets of songs for a cappella mixed chorus. They are secular, and based upon themes of love and nature as is characteristic of the genre and period. Some of the songs are of a serious nature while others are playful and humorous. Always, Herzogenberg achieves vivid portrayals of the meaning of the verse in his music. The choral writing itself is harmonically lush, with piquant harmonic turns, lovingly resolved. Long melodic lines are often treated contrapuntally, with the melody drifting from voice to voice. In some songs, a mesmerizing tranquility is achieved while in others, Herzogenberg uses the full dynamic and harmonic range of his singers to produce glorious and thrilling culminations of sound.

As exceptional as this music is, the success of the album is equally due to the superb interpretations provided by Markus Utz and the Ensemble Cantissimo. This choir was formed of a group of young professional singers from Switzerland and Germany in 1994. Under Mr. Utz’ direction, they have been committed to the rediscovery of fascinating and often little known repertoire. As this recording is volume two of Herzogenberg’s choral music from Cantissimo, it’s very exciting to know that a first volume also exists (CRS 83451). Not having heard that recording yet, I can only recommend this volume with absolute confidence. For my part, I plan to add the first volume to my collection in anticipation of hearing more geogeous choral music by Heinrich von Herzogenberg.