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Cat. No. CHAN 0646 Price: £5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0646 - Weckmann: Sacred Concerti & Harpsichord Music
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Available From: 21 October 1999
The relatively small number of Weckmann’s works that survive are of very high quality and show exceptional stylistic versatility, no doubt in part due to the lifelong contact he maintained with major composers, such as Froberger and Schütz, from all parts of Germany

In 1663 an epidemic of the plague broke out in Hamburg, killing many of its inhabitants. (Weckmann went as far as writing a motet for his own funeral.) The calamity of 1663 inspired Weckmann to compose four masterly sacred concertos, which survive in a largely autograph volume in Lüneberg. Three are recorded here – the fourth ‘Herr, wenn ich nur dich habe’ is crossed out in the manuscript.

For his texts Weckmann makes no use at all of hymns or free verse, turning directly to the bible itself. The settings are neither through-composed like motets nor divided into separate movements like the eighteenth-century cantata. They are rather sectional but continuous, the formal design being in each case sui generis and entirely determined by the text. Freely declaimed monodies contrast with triple-time arias and with concertato or imitative passages in which the whole vocal and instrumental ensemble comes together

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