Label: CANTATE 58031
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Missa Renovationis; Missa Non sine quareAnn Mortiz, soprano; Dorothea Wagner, soprano; Alexander Schneider, alto; Clemens Volkmar, tenor; Christian Berger, tenor; Philipp Brömsel, bass
Daniel Deuter, violin I; Beate Voigt, violin II; Bernhard Hentrich, cello; Torsten Hoppe, violone; Michael Poscharski, violone; Merit Eichhorn, positive organ; Stephan Thamm, postiv organ
Knabenchor Dresden/Matthias Jung
With the emergence of basso-continuo–accompanied solo singing, polychoral performance, and the concertato style, the musical form of the Mass also underwent a significant change, originating in Italy, during the first decades of the seventeenth century. Cautiously, the stile antico vocal polyphony in the tradition of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, to which one continued to feel obligated in accordance with the stipulations of the Council of Trent, was gradually enhanced by elements of the stile moderno, until around 1650 with the Messa concertata a new compositional paradigm that combined both styles with one another was established. The scoring of this new type of Mass was as simple as it was flexible: added to the basso-continuo–supported vocal ensemble were two additional, independent obbligato instrumental parts, and the vocal parts were strengthen by supplementary singers (ripieni) and/or instruments when possible or necessary. Thus, from this time on, contrasting tonal effects could be achieved, and, at the same time, motet and concertato techniques, solo or choral passages could be freely combined with one another. The result was a clear musical revitalization of the Mass setting, and the new genre spread both south and north of the Alps with corresponding success. Johann Caspar Kerll, born at Adorf in Vogtland in 1627, was considered by his contemporaries as the most outstanding representative of the Messa concertata. Owing to the continuing reception of his works for keyboard instruments, he is primarily known today as a composer of instrumental pieces. His fame, which during the seventeenth century extended far beyond the German-speaking areas, was based on his secular and sacred vocal works – and here above all on his Mass compositions which subsequent composers of both denominations studied as model examples of consummate counterpoint. In his Musicalisches Lexikon (Leipzig 1732), Johann Gottfried Walther appreciatively described Kerll as the composer of numerous “Masses of exquisite art”. And in the late eighteenth century these Masses were still offered by Breitkopf & Härtel, and Johann Caspar Kerll revered alongside Bach and Handel as the “German Orpheus”.