HIERONYMUS PRAETORIUS: MAGNIFICATS & MOTETS
by Robert Levett (International Record Review - October 2008)
… These are stunning performances, which is of course to be expected from this remarkable vocal ensemble. Between the extremes of the virtuosic Gaudete omnes and the relative simplicity of Videns Dominus and Benedicto mensae lie the strangely ambivalent rhythms and harmonies of O bone Jesu, the dark despair of O vos omnes and the exuberance of the Magnificat settings; all are bathed in a richly textured and highly variegated choral sound. In addition, Carwood’s direction ensures for the most part a dramatic yet flexible forward propulsion that allows the meaning of the texts to shine through unhindered.
… Hieronymous Praetorius is considered by many to be one of the greatest North German composers of the first half of the seventeenth century. This release will surely go some way to convincing the rest of us of the truth of this assertion.