Fesca - Danzi: Psalms

Album cover art for upc 761203507320
Label: CPO
Catalog: 555073-2

Grönegress, Regina; Gärtner, Bernhard; Horn, Matthias; Wagner, Julia Sophie; Camerata 2000; Odinius, Lothar; Chudak, Andrea; Karlsruhe Bach Choir

On 8 June 1807 the cornerstone of a new Lutheran Town Church was laid in Karlsruhe, and in 1816 a festive dedication celebrated its completion. During the concert held in 2016 on the occasion of the town church’s two hundredth anniversary, the Karlsruhe Bach Choir performed Psalm compositions by Franz Danzi, who from 1812 until his death served as the court music director of the Baden Court Orchestra in Karlsruhe, and by Friedrich Ernst Fesca, who was among the members of the Karlsruhe Court Orchestra during the Danzi era. Danzi’s "Preis Gottes" cantata continues to breathe the spirit of the eighteenth century and of Mozart, for example, in the highly virtuosic arias for soprano and tenor, while the choruses suggest the oratorios of Handel and Haydn. By contrast, his short Psalm 128 op. 65 for mixed choir and smaller orchestra is painted in delicate romantic colors. It was published in Leipzig in 1823 with the Latin text and the German translation of the psalm by Moses Mendelssohn, which Louis Spohr, a friend of Danzi’s, also used in his Three Psalms op. 85 for double choir (1832). Fesca proves to be a master of the transition from classicism to romanticism – and very much the equal of his boss Danzi, with whom he apparently was on good terms. He knew how to craft brilliant and richly varied instrumentations, had a firm command of formal matters, and supplied rhythmic and harmonic surprises.

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