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LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Christi død; Denk ich Gott an deine Güte; Abendlied; Neujahrslied
PERFORMER: Inger Dam-Jensen (soprano), Elisabeth Halling (contralto), Mathias Zachariassen (tenor), Johannes Mannov (bass) Danish National RSO & Choir/ Christopher Hogwood (fortepiano)
There have been too many other significant anniversaries recently for the world to take much notice of the 250th birthday of Johann Abraham Peter Schulz (1747-1800). He was essentially a north European composer, with a Lutheran concern for clarity and dislike of unnecessary embellishment. The introduction to his set of Songs in the Folk Style makes this clear: ‘In all these songs I have endeavoured to sing in popular vein rather than for art’s sake.’ A few are included on the current disc, and they make their point in the desired manner. Schulz’s most important post was as Hofkapellmeister at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, and his half-hour sacred cantata Christi død (Death of Christ) is regarded as a major Danish work of this period. Hogwood and his Danish forces play with some style, though of the four soloists only the soprano Inger Dam-Jensen makes much impression. Stephen Maddock