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The 20 professional voices of Ensemble Cantissimo under director Markus Utz serve Herzogenberg extremely well in this finely judged programme of a cappella works. Herzogenberg, a slightly younger contemporary of Brahms, was well known for his choral and orchestral works in Graz and later in Leipzig, where he was instrumental in founding the Bach Choir of which he was conductor. This CD offers over 20 examples from four sets of works for mixed chorus. There are the inevitable settings of Eichendorff, Goethe and Rückert as well as German folk songs. Throughout, Ensemble Cantissimo produces a beautiful sound which constantly draws one in. It is hard to single out any one item, but their rendition of Weihnachtslied, a sort of chorale prelude riffon Praetorius’s In dulci jubilo, is exquisite. Well worth investigating.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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