Hans Leo Hassler - Ich gieng einmal spatieren: Keyboard Music | Querstand VKJK1521

Hans Leo Hassler - Ich gieng einmal spatieren: Keyboard Music


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Label: Querstand

Cat No: VKJK1521

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 22nd January 2016



Born in 1564 in Nuremberg as the second son of a “stonecutter” and organist from Bohemia, Hans Leo Hassler initially got his education from his father, than later from Leonhard Lechner. In 1584-85 he studied as one of the first German musicians in Italy: he discovered the latest musical styles of the time in Venice with Andrea Gabrieli. He quickly advanced in life to become arguably the most important composer of the late Renaissance; his masses, motets and secular choral works set the benchmark and are still today considered in part to be included in the “canon” of choral literature.

Without question, the 31 Variations on the song “Ich gieng einmal spatieren” [“I once went walking”] can be considered to be Hassler's most important work for keyboard instruments. Their technical demands, but above all their methodically thought-out conceptualisation and monumental length are testament to Hassler's extraordinary abilities. This masterful conceptualisation, invested in the cohesion of the overall form, and the complex compositional and emotional profundity mark a high-point for keyboard arts in 1600 to the north of the Alps, an equivalent to Bach's Goldberg Variations and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations in size and importance. On his second CD for the Querstand label, Jan Katzschke combines this peak work with three other Haßler compositions which demonstrate his Italian influences as well as his versatility. The Magnificat – a typical part of liturgy in the times around 1600 – features Katzschke as vocalist, too.

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