Thursday, August 20, 2015
Heinichen Masses Show Italian Influences
The two masses on this release are full-blown "number masses." Each section's text, such as the Credo or Gloria, is broken down into smaller phrases, and each phrase set to its own piece of music.
The Italian influence is quite strong -- to my ears these masses resembled those of Alessandro Scarlatti. Like Scarlatti, the dramatic power of the music owes much to the operatic conventions of the day. Heinichen's melodies are wonderfully lyrical and expressive. But Heinichen's German background is present, too. While the solo sections are sinuously fluid, the choral sections feature rigorously constructed counterpoint that looks ahead to Bach.
Hans-Cristoph Rademann leads his forces with a sure hand; the Dresdener Barockorchester performs with a restrained energy that seems appropriate for works intended for worship services. The Dresdner Kammerchor has a clean ensemble sound, which made it easy to follow the polyphony.
If you like the sacred works of Scarlatti, Handel, or Telemann, then there's a lot hear that you should enjoy as well. I did.
Johann David Heinichen: Messen
Missa No. 11 in D major; Missa No. 12 in D major
Dresdner Kammerchor; Dresdner Barockorchester; Hans-Christoph Rademann, conductor