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Still retaining a hold in the repertoire as a composer of lieder, Carl Loewe (1796-1869) also penned six operas, two symphonies, two piano concertos and more than 15 oratorios both sacred and secular – all of which have fallen into obscurity. Das Sühnopfer des neuen Bundes (‘The Atonement of the New Covenant’) dates from 1847. It is a substantial Passion oratorio whose text was derived largely from Matthew’s and John’s gospel accounts of Jesus’s Passion, as well as chorales and free passages of poetry. While Bach’s example can be detected, so too can Handel’s influence be heard in the grander scenes; and, of course, one is constantly reminded of Mendelssohn’s soundworld. Thomas Gropper and his forces take a straightforward approach to Loewe’s score, with the chorus delivering their contribution with conviction and an attractive, even tone. With decent if not outstanding soloists, this release is certainly worth investigating.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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