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‘ Buxtehude: MEMBRA JESU NOSTRI (Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford) ’

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Buxtehude: Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV75

Label:

Opus Arte

Catalogue No:

OACD9023D

Discs:

1

Release date:

31st March 2014

Barcode:

0809478090236

Length:

61 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)

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Buxtehude: Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV75


John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Robin Blaze (counter-tenor) & Giles Underwood (bass)

Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford & Phantasm, Daniel Hyde

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This is a significant new CD release, launching an exciting new partnership between Opus Arte and Magdalen College Choir, Oxford, under its director Daniel Hyde.

The repertoire is niche but well-known, and the two soloists are distinguished names in the choral world. The choir has been under the directorship of Daniel Hyde for several years, during which time it has developed a strong ‘European’ choral sound, within the tradition of an all-male ensemble (that is, with boy trebles).

The cycle of seven cantatas, scored for SSATB and titled ‘Membra Jesu nostri patientis sanctissima’ (The most holy limbs of our suffering Jesus), is a series of musical meditations on the limbs of Christ on the Cross, and was written in 1680 by the German mid-baroque composer, Dieterich Buxtehude (c1637-1707). It is considered the first Lutheran oratorio.

There a several recordings of the cycle in the catalogue, but this may be the first using male singers for the two soprano roles. The instrumental support comes from the noted period-instrument ensemble, Phantasm.

Dietrich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu nostri, BuxWV 75

I. Ad pedes: Sonata

I. Ad pedes: Ecce super montes pedes

I. Ad pedes: Salve mundi salutare

I. Ad pedes: Ecce super montes pedes

I. Ad pedes: Salve mundi salutare

II. Ad genua: Sonata in tremulo

II. Ad genua: Ad ubera portabimini

II. Ad genua: Salve Jesu, rex sanctorum

II. Ad genua: Ad ubera portabimini

III. Ad manus: Sonata

III. Ad manus: Quid sunt plagae

III. Ad manus: Salve Jesu, pastor bone

III. Ad manus: Quid sunt plagae

IV. Ad latus: Sonata

IV. Ad latus: Surge, amica mea, speciosa mea

IV. Ad latus: Salve latus salvatoris

IV. Ad latus: Surge, amica mea, speciosa mea

V. Ad pectus: Sonata

V. Ad pectus: Sicut modo geniti infantes rationabiles

V. Ad pectus: Salve, salus mea, Deus

V. Ad pectus: Sicut modo geniti infantes rationabiles

VI. Ad cor: Sonata

VI. Ad cor: Vulnerasti cor meum

VI. Ad cor: Summi regis cor, aveto

VI. Ad cor: Vulnerasti cor meum

VII. Ad faciem: Sonata

VII. Ad faciem: Illustra faciem tuam

VII. Ad faciem: Salve, caput cruentatum

VII. Ad faciem: Amen

BBC Music Magazine

June 2014

****

“this new issue [has] a decidedly English slant, which provides striking contrasts with the many versions deploying continentally trained voices. The lightly articulated and youthful sounding declamation of the Magdalen Choir is stylishly supported by the small instrumental ensemble, Phantasm, whose playing is both elegant and expressive.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2014

“The 26-strong Choir of Magdalen College swamp the half-dozen players in choruses - although the choir's confidently precise sonorities are laudable...there is rich splendour in choral textures during the final cantata 'Ad faciem'.”

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