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Record Box

Knowing Knüpfer

A pre-Bach notable,
with BASIL RAMSEY


Hyperion    CDA67160

Sacred Music by Sebastian Knüpfer (c) 2000 Hyperion Records Ltd

 

Appointed to the position of Thomaskantor in Leipzig at the age of 24, Knüpfer was a musician of exceptional accomplishment, not only as singer but as a composer. Contemporaries were in awe of his ability in sundry arts, so his demise at 43 was a matter of great regret.

This collection is obviously representative of Knüpfer's extant music, and selected from psalm-settings and cantatas. There is no lack of variety in textures, nor of ideas that are regenerative [listen track 2, 0:00-1:05; track 17, 0:00-1:00]. His use of colour points to a composer sensitive to the detail that activates expression.

These performances under the aegis of Robert King provide another sample of an obscure composer working at a propitious time, and of the scholars today who have restored more music meant for performance rather than an idling on a library shelf.

 

Copyright © 16 May 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews