Rosenmüller: In Te Domine Speravi
Weser-Renaissance Bremen; Cordes, Manfred
Johann Rosenmüller’s vocal oeuvre is distinguished by textual interpretation that is just as finely sensitive as it is highly imaginative – and this manifoldness is nowhere so clearly revealed as in the seven settings of Psalm 31 (after Luther’s numbering) that have been transmitted to us under his name and form the program on this album. These various compositions based on one and the same text prove to be a genuine kaleidoscope of compositional ideas. Rosenmüller implements changing combinations of singers and richly imaginative motivic work, even in the instrumental parts, which are in part virtuosic in character. The works are divided into sections, and the composer usually creates larger interconnected structures in them by using recurring ritornellos and repeatedly returning to the first verse of the particular work. The text concerns David’s petition for divine assistance in the greatest distress. The psalm has a special significance in the Christian church because according to Luke the words from its sixth verse, “Into your hands I commend my spirit,” were among Christ’s last words on the cross. The variety and wealth of nuances achieved by Rosenmüller in the interpretation of the text and in the textures are considerable, and it is precisely the comparative listening experience that opens our ears to hear the special qualities his contemporaries valued in his art.