A Quattro Cori: Music for 16 Voices | Es-Dur ES2049

A Quattro Cori: Music for 16 Voices


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Label: Es-Dur

Cat No: ES2049

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 14th April 2014



In 1783, musician and writer Johann Friedrich Reichardt visited what he regarded as “the cradle of ornate music” - Italy. The far-reaching consequences of this trip on the development of German choral music are demonstrated by the NDR Choir in a recording of three impressive 16-voice works for four choirs: Missa a 16 voci in quattro cori by Carl Friedrich Fasch, Mendelssohn’s Hora est, and Missa 'In diluvio aquarum multarum' by the Roman Baroque composer Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672) - a world premiere recording.

Reichardt (1752-1814) returned from Italy with Benevoli’s epic vocal work and showed it to his colleague and predecessor as Prussian Hofkapellmeister, Carl Friedrich Fasch (1736-1800). The older man was filled with inspiration by the piece, composing his Missa a 16 voci in quattro cori. None of the existing Berlin (boys’) choirs could handle the work, so Fasch created his own ensemble, in which the soprano and alto parts were sung by women. Since 1793 it has been known as the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin.

It took several more years before the Sing-Akademie was able to perform Fasch and Benevoli’s polychoral masses. In 1820, the then 11-year-old Felix Mendelssohn entered the Academy, where these works had become the choir's showpieces. In 1828, Felix took them as an incentive to compose his 16-voice Hora est, a motet which he presented to his sister Fanny on her 23th birthday. Performed by the Sing-Akademie - the choir by then comprised some 350 singers - it earned the highest praise for both composer and ensemble.

The NDR Choir under Philip Ahmann presents this particularly demanding repertoire, showcasing many soloists from within its own ranks. Following the Venice CD released in 2012, this is the NDR choir’s second recording with Ahmann on the Es-Dur label.

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