KRIEGER: Excerpts from operas and instrumental works
Mona Spägele, soprano; Wilfried Jochens, tenor; Wolf Matthias Friedrich, bass; Ensemble/ Wolfgang Katschner, cond.

"New Music in Rheinsberg" - ZAPF: Approximation (1996). FELDMANN: Dann Und Nur Dann, Wenn (1997). HEINRICH: Sonata for Flute Solo. DOMHARDT: String Quartet (1974). JANN: Movement of Silence (1997). VOIGTLÄNDLER: Voici - Feuerklang (1995). STIER: Monolith (1995).
Various performers
NEW CLASSICAL ADVENTURE SACD 60202 (2 disks) TT: 61:47 & 47:39
BACH: Organ Mass (Part III of Clavier Übung)
Münchener Bach-Chor; Hansjörg Albrecht, organist/conductor
OEHMS SACD OC 639 (2 disks) TT: 48:24

The premium-priced label Membran New Classical Adventure here has two extreme releases covering four centuries. One features music of German Baroque composer Johann Philipp Krieger (1649-1725). He composed profusely; his extensive catalog includes a number of operas as well as music for the church and chamber works. This SACD offers a fabricated "opera" consisting of instrumental works and arias from seven of his operas arranged to tell the story of a lady and her two suitors, described in detail in the program notes. The music is what you would expect of 17th Century baroque music, and well performed by the three singers and Lautten Compagney. This ensemble, formed in 1984, which consists of 2 violins, baroque harp, viola, baroque guitar, cembalo, organ, and two baroque lutes. Recorded sound is excellent. German texts are provided. but there are no translations.

Now the same label advances to the 20th Century with a collection of "New Music in Rheinsberg." Works are listed above, and all of it is far beyond the cutting edge of contemporary music. It does seem surprising that music like this was written more than a half-century ago. You will hear some of the ugliest sounds ever to emanate from musical instruments. One can admire the tenacity of the performers to play this, but for most listeners this SACD will be a unrewarding experience. Profuse program notes are provided. For once, I don't mind of playing time on one disk is but 47:39. Approach with extreme caution!

The enterprising Oehms label has this new 2-disk set of Orgelmesse, the complete third part of Bach's Clavier-Übung, a collection of various preludes on the catechism and other hymns for the organ published in 1797. There are 38 of these described in detail in the set's program notes which also include texts for all of the chorales. Organist Hansjörg Albrecht, who already has a SAC of music from Wagner's Ring (which I have not heard), here plays the Metzler Organ of St. Jacob & Leonhard, Hopfgarten/Brixental, a small instrument with a sound appropriate for this music. Albrecht has a distinguished solo career and is Artistic Director of the Munich Bach Choir, heard in the chorales on this recording. Excellent sound. A quality release for those interested in this repertory.

R.E.B. (August 2009)