“Melchior Franck: Geistliche Gesäng Und Melodeyen”
Cantus Thuringia, Capella Thuringia.
Lachrimae Consort Weimar – Christoph Dittmar.
Melchior Franck is one of the most important composers of the early 17th century in German lands. The formidable ensemble Cantus Thuringia presents him here in world premiere recordings of 19 motets in a sensitive and virtuoso manner.
Melchior Franck was often mentioned as one of the most important composers of his time, alongside Praetorius, Schütz and Schein. Born around 1580, he became court conductor of Duke Johann Casimir von Sachsen-Coburg in 1602. Franck’s “Geistliche Gesäng und Melodeyen” of 1608 occupies an important place in the history of biblical motets, the genre that predominated in sacred German music of the early Baroque period.
On this album 19 of 24 motets from this collection are collected, recorded by Cantus Thuringia & Capella under the direction of Christoph Dittmar. Although in the Renaissance a great number of settings of the text of the Song of Songs had been written by composers such as Palestrina, Lassus and Schütz, there were hardly any collections that focused on the emotional intensity of the text as much as those in the “Geistliche Gesäng und Melodeyen”: Franck’s artistic and virtuoso movements are unsurpassed in ingenuity, drama and emotional strength, as they exploit the visual language to the full through a carefully madrigalistic and dramatic approach. Although most motets quote passages from the Song of Songs and thus traditionally function as “wedding music”, Franck also juxtaposes them with “funeral music”. These, all world premiere recordings, confront the listener with the everlasting contrast between love and death.