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Fabrice Fitch
Gramophone, December 2011

Most impressive are Wilhelm Friedemann’s cantatas, which include some of the most affecting arias I’ve ever listened to

To read the complete review, please visit Gramophone online.

John W Barker
American Record Guide, November 2011

The Capriccio set is actually a reissue of two single discs from 1993 (10425+6). The four cantatas they contain are substantial works, textually pegged to given dates in the Lutheran liturgical calendar. All call for four soloists, choir, and quite ample orchestra, rich in wind sounds. There are many fine movements. I was particularly moved by a soprano aria, ‘Vater, mit Erbarmen’, in the Advent cantata, superbly sung by Schlick—perhaps the star among the excellent team of soloists assembled by the admirable Hermann Max. His leadership is consistently knowing and persuasive, and the recording is clear and well balanced.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

James A. Altena
Fanfare, November 2011

Briefly, if you love the music of the father, grab these cantatas by the son, for in terms of compositional style the apple here did not fall far from the tree. In addition to the high quality of the music, on a par with any other masterpieces of the late Baroque, these are superb performances, rendered with the vigor, spirit, and polish for which Hermann Max and his forces are justly famed. The choir sings with crystalline clarity of tone and diction and exemplary balance, while the orchestra crackles with verve and precision. Finally, there are the exemplary soloists: a soprano who is a byword for excellence in Baroque repertoire, a rich but not matronly alto, a Baroque tenor with more body and depth to his voice than most, and a bass who is a tad less distinguished than his colleagues in plushness of vocal timbre but still first-rate. The recorded sound is crisp and clear, balanced with the soloists more to the foreground, the orchestra to the back, and the chorus in between. The booklet provides notes and texts in German and English. Urgently recommended, and a bargain to boot.

James Manheim, October 2011

…the virtuosity level for the singers is ramped up, with pleasing effect in the fancy soprano-baritone duet “Komm, mein Hirte” (Come, my shepherd). Sample also the aria “Rauscht, ihr Fluten, donnernd Blitzen” (Roar, ye floods, and thundering lightning), one of a number of pieces nicely suited to the billowy soprano of the veteran German singer Barbara Schlick. Recorded in 1991 in the Immanuelskirche in the city of Wuppertal, the sound is a bit distant, but text intelligibility is good and the mood is right.

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