Capricornus: Jubilus Bernhardi

by ACRONYM/Donald Meineke/The Bach Choir of Holy Trinity

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about

Precious little is known for certain about the composer Samuel Capricornus; like Purcell and Mozart, he died at a tragically young age, and yet his prodigious output demonstrates what a wealth of talent and invention he had. Born the son of a Lutheran pastor in what today is the Czech Republic, he Latinized his name according to a common habit at the time, and he was fortunate enough to work at the imperial chapel in Vienna under two of the leading Italians of the age, Giovanni Valentini and Antonio Bertali. Capricornus's setting in 24 parts of the Jubilus Bernhardi was published halfway through his tenure as Kapellmeister to the court in Stuttgart in 1660. Scored for five soloists, five ripieno vocal parts and a consort of violas da gamba with continuo, it is a glorious demonstration of every facet of the composer's craft: the short introductory sinfonias that set the tone, the careful juxtaposition of solo voices and tutti sections, the skilful balancing of voices and instruments, the minutely observed rhythms of the word setting, and—above all—the overarching structural sense. Even in such a grand design, the music remains ever-changing like light shining on a diamond, yet profoundly uplifting and moving by turn.

credits

released December 1, 2017

Recorded September 8-11, 2016, at Oktaven Audio

Engineered, Produced, and Mastered by Ryan Streber

Edited by Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Loren Ludwig, and Ryan Streber

Design by Lee Ryder

Notes and modern edition by Brian Clark for Prima la musica! and Cornetto-Verlag

English translation by Dr. Helen Deeming

Special thanks to Brian Clark, The Rev. Wilbert S. Miller, The Bach Foundation of Holy Trinity, Linda Cahn, Paul Marshall, Diana Langer Marcus, Dan Lippel, Marc Wolf, and Lee Ryder.

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New Focus Recordings New York, New York

New Focus Recordings is an artist led collective label featuring releases in contemporary music of many stripes, as well as new approaches to older repertoire. The label was founded by guitarist Daniel Lippel (who is the current director), composer engineer Ryan Streber, and composer Peter Gilbert in 2003-4, and features releases from many of new music's most active performers and composers. ... more

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