Renaissance polyphony and contemporary sound clouds orbit around vocal late Romanticist like satellites. The Zurich Chamber Singers, conducted by Christian Erny, unearth a special narrative drama. Starting with Anton Bruckner, they turn their attention to Palestrina as a point of reference. At the same time, they cast a spotlight back on the work of the Austrian vocal innovator through three contemporary works. A comprehensive selection of Bruckner’s Latin motets combined with chosen works by Palestrina and three world premiere recordings of the Stuttgart composer Burkhard Kinzler’s commissioned works.

Indeed, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina may have been one of Bruckner’s musical inspirations and historical references, as he, albeit some three hundred years Bruckner’s senior, was continuously received in music history for centuries after his death. Bruckner’s Catholic faith – supremely profound, and at times unhappy – is inherent to almost all of his compositions; truly, the composer is sometimes said not to have managed to write a single secular piece, including his symphonies.

In this album, the Zurich Chamber Singers focus on Bruckner’s Latin motets and choose to consider them something of a musical prayer book and personal diary of the composer. Bruckner, who suffered from severe self-doubts throughout his life, composed motets for almost his entire life. Although in varying intervals and with considerably less public attention than other of his works (most notably the symphonies, which he began to compose much later than the motets), Bruckner was dedicated to the composition of motets with admirable regularity. Therefore, these pieces allow a singular access to Bruckner’s musical development and personality, as well as his religious psyche.

In this programme Anton Bruckner’s motets are presented in a careful sequence combining them with works by Palestrina and Burkhard Kinzler. The latter feature as a commentary that both hearkens back ‘ad fontes’ and towards the twenty-first-century present. In the course of this sequence, various theological concepts central to Anton Bruckner’s faith are examined, allowing also insight into the composer’s musical mind.

The intelligent conceptualisation of the album in combination with the young, outstanding and transparent interpretation of the Zurich Chamber Singers under their director Christian Erny stand in direct succession to the previous release “O Nata Lux”. The vocal ensemble, whose stylistic confidence is reflected on their second album for Berlin Classics, “Bruckner Spectrum”, in their skilful interpretation of a cappella works from almost four centuries, is now one of the most innovative European choirs. Under the direction of conductor and pianist Christian Erny, the Swiss ensemble sings its way to the top of the European choral scene with discographically outstanding concepts and in a cappella and choral symphonic concerts both inside and outside Switzerland.

Bruckner Spectrum The Zurich Chamber Singers & Christian Erny

Composer

Anton Bruckner

Burkhard Kinzler

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

Further information

Genre

Klassik

Publication date:

07.10.2022



Renaissance polyphony and contemporary sound clouds orbit around vocal late Romanticist like satellites. The Zurich Chamber Singers, conducted by Christian Erny, unearth a special narrative drama. Starting with Anton Bruckner, they turn their attention to Palestrina as a point of reference. At the same time, they cast a spotlight back on the work of the Austrian vocal innovator through three contemporary works. A comprehensive selection of Bruckner's Latin motets combined with chosen works by Palestrina and three world premiere recordings of the Stuttgart composer Burkhard Kinzler’s commissioned works.

Indeed, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina may have been one of Bruckner’s musical inspirations and historical references, as he, albeit some three hundred years Bruckner’s senior, was continuously received in music history for centuries after his death. Bruckner’s Catholic faith – supremely profound, and at times unhappy – is inherent to almost all of his compositions; truly, the composer is sometimes said not to have managed to write a single secular piece, including his symphonies.

In this album, the Zurich Chamber Singers focus on Bruckner’s Latin motets and choose to consider them something of a musical prayer book and personal diary of the composer. Bruckner, who suffered from severe self-doubts throughout his life, composed motets for almost his entire life. Although in varying intervals and with considerably less public attention than other of his works (most notably the symphonies, which he began to compose much later than the motets), Bruckner was dedicated to the composition of motets with admirable regularity. Therefore, these pieces allow a singular access to Bruckner’s musical development and personality, as well as his religious psyche.

In this programme Anton Bruckner’s motets are presented in a careful sequence combining them with works by Palestrina and Burkhard Kinzler. The latter feature as a commentary that both hearkens back ‘ad fontes’ and towards the twenty-first-century present. In the course of this sequence, various theological concepts central to Anton Bruckner’s faith are examined, allowing also insight into the composer’s musical mind.

The intelligent conceptualisation of the album in combination with the young, outstanding and transparent interpretation of the Zurich Chamber Singers under their director Christian Erny stand in direct succession to the previous release "O Nata Lux". The vocal ensemble, whose stylistic confidence is reflected on their second album for Berlin Classics, "Bruckner Spectrum", in their skilful interpretation of a cappella works from almost four centuries, is now one of the most innovative European choirs. Under the direction of conductor and pianist Christian Erny, the Swiss ensemble sings its way to the top of the European choral scene with discographically outstanding concepts and in a cappella and choral symphonic concerts both inside and outside Switzerland.

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