Biber: Requiem / Meunier, Freiburg Baroque Consort
The winner of numerous prestigious prizes, including several Gramophone Awards, the vocal ensemble Vox Luminis, founded by Lionel Meunier in 2004, is now regarded as a benchmark in the interpretation of the great works of German Baroque music. Its unfailingly faithful and lively approach to such masters as Bach, Buxtehude and Scheidt has made the group’s reputation, but this new recording features a major work by Heinrich Biber, a composer hitherto absent from its discography: his Requiem in F minor for 14 voices, composed around 1692. The program is completed by two sacred works by Christoph Bernhard (Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener in Friede fahren and Tribularer si nescirem misericordias tuas), two pieces by Johann Joseph Fux, and the Sonata a 6 in A minor of Johann Michael Nicolai. This recording marks the beginning of a collaboration between Vox Luminis and another internationally renowned ensemble, the Freiburger Barockorchester, heard here in its Consort formation.
The Requiem in F minor is a sober, transparent piece in a rather conservative style, and the warm, direct performance here by the Vox Luminis vocal ensemble and the small Freiburger BarockConsort is optimal. These ensembles, though separate, have worked together for a long time, and the smoothness of their work under Vox Luminis director Lionel Meunier is notable. Another attraction for hardcore Baroque listeners is the group of other works that frame the Biber, none of them often heard even in early music circles. A typically strong outing from this unique pairing makes even a quite obscure repertory accessible to general audiences.
– AllMusicGuide.com (James Manheim)
Catalog Number: ALPHA665
Number of Discs: 1