Post by cheregi Post by Johannes Roehl Post by cheregi
I'm interested in the phenomenon of German 19th-c town/village men's choruses, and the music written for them, and recordings of that music. Singer Pur's 'Songs of the German Romantics' CD alongside their usual Renaissance focus really caught my attention, especially the Brahms songs. Amarcord's 'Album francais' also, but I understand the situation in France was very different, there weren't all these local groups gathering to sing for fun? I don't know. A lot of recordings use big big choirs which I don't care for. Aside from Singer Pur and amarcord who sings this stuff with this kind of crispness and directness?
I think actual choral pieces were often for fairly large choirs or in any case there was a range from small (like quartets or double quartets which might be best for Brahms' Liebesliederwalzer) to large ensembles. There is a smallish German ensemble called the "Die Singphoniker" who has done the complete Schubert vocal ensemble music on cpo. I have only one volume, which is #5! so apparently there is a lot of music there. My favorites are "Nachtgesang im Walde" and "Gesang der Geister über den Wassern", both rather well known. They probably have at least anthologies of similar music by other composers.
For Brahms I got the Brilliant box of a cappella or piano accompanied choral music and although the choir is middle sized it's "crisp" enough for me. They also have a Mendelssohn box but I don't know that one. Modern professional chamber choirs can sound quite crisp even if they are 30 singers or so.
Interesting, I didn't realize the range in number of singers was 'intended' from the get-go. Singphoniker has a pleasant sound, thanks. I think I've heard some from the Brahms set you're talking about and I can't say I'm a fan. I mean it's not bad! It just, for me, doesn't match, say, this: http://youtu.be/0e2x2JH4g5Q
You have to check for availability but Singphoniker recorded a lot of this, about one disc each Brahms, Schumann, Kreutzer, Mendelssohn, Rheinberger and some mixed anthologies, one Strauss+Reger, one "Deutsche Volkslieder". They are a sextett, I believe. Some discs are out of print, unfortunately.