Pachelbel: Easter Cantatas / Roland Wilson, Capella Ducale
Like his nearly exact contemporary Heinrich Biber, Pachelbel was regarded in his day as quite the progressive, often extravagantly augmenting his vocal scores with antiphonal choirs and plenty of rousing brass and percussion. Though every work on this program incorporates these elements to some extent, the cantata Halleluja! Lobet den Herrn (Praise the Lord) offers the grandest, most celebratory display. The splendor of this unusually large setting for five trumpets, trombone, timpani, bells, strings, two oboes, harp, dulcian, full concertante and ripieno voices, and basso continuo is further complemented by Pachelbel's frequent use of permutation fugues (two or three contrasting themes played simultaneously in revolving cycles) that Wilson and his forces effortlessly negotiate. The disc's concluding Magnificat in C major, though longer and with slightly less instrumentation, equally impresses.
CPO's warmly reverberant, spacious yet detailed sound ideally suits the grand scale and often colorful scoring of these very appealing works. Pachelbel's vocal music is highly underrated, and listeners who are even remotely interested in music of this period are strongly encouraged to take a chance here.
--John Greene, ClassicsToday.com
Catalog Number: 999916-2
Composer: Johann Pachelbel
Conductor: Roland Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne Musica Fiata, La Capella Ducale
Performer: Constanze Backes, Harry Van Berne, Harry Van der Kamp, Monika Mauch, Ralf Popken