Richard A.A. Larraga
, November 2012
Paul Hillier and Ars Nova Copenhagen have given us beautiful performances of the complete narrative works…of Heinrich Schütz in this recording.
The sound is sumptuous. The acoustic in the two Copenhagen churches (Garnisonskirken and St. Paul’s Church) affords the singers a warm aureole of sound without being too resonant. The performances are nuanced and energized. The choral tone is incisive, balanced and beautifully tuned. The performers in Ars Nova Copenhagen are wonderful singers, comfortable as both soloists and choristers. They are accompanied by Concerto Copenhagen and the viola da gamba ensemble Sirius Viols.
Schütz paints with a large sound palette. The stark, black-and-white unaccompanied settings of the Passions contrast sharply with the color-saturated opulence of the Christmas and Resurrection stories.
Comprehensive recordings such as this offer a wonderful glimpse into the styles and skills of individual composers. The complete works of Schütz deserve to be heard, and this recording is an important step in gaining more recognition for his works. This set is highly recommended for its superb musicianship and nuanced performances. © 2012 Choral Journal