Hamburger Ratsmusik; Mields, Dorothee; Eckert, Simone
The title “Seelen-Music” (Soul Music) refers to the first complete collection of all the extant Cantatas by Johann Theile for soprano solo with viol accompaniment, presented here with the recording premieres of Sacred Concertos by Theile’s fellow Northern German Christian Flor and Instrumental Suites by the Gottorf violinist Gregor Zuber. The composer Johann Theile is of great significance in music history inasmuch as he is held to be one of the last pupils of Heinrich Schütz, who was the most important German-language composer of the seventeenth century. Theile presumably was appointed to the post of chapel master in Gottorf at the suggestion of Duchess Marie Elisabeth, the daughter of Prince Elector Johann Georg I of Saxony and in her youth a Schütz pupil in her own right. From 1673 to 1678 he worked at this court under her son Duke Christian Albrecht. When Gottorf was under Danish occupation, Theile accompanied the duke into exile in Hamburg, where both contributed to the establishment of the first public opera house in Germany and its opening with Theile’s singspiel Adam und Eva. In Dorothee Mields we have found a dream soloist for these mostly contemplative works, and her bright, sublimely balanced soprano voice lends them breathtaking depth.