Cantata on the death of Emperor Joseph II WoO87 Cantata on the accession of Emperor Leopold II WoO88 Opferlied Op 121b Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt Op 112
This second disc of Beethoven choral works from the Corydon Singers and Matthew Best includes the composer’s homage to Goethe, Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt, and the famous Opferlied, here performed beautifully by Jean Rigby in the version for soprano, choir and orchestra.
Also featured are two rarely performed and fascinating early works, the Cantatas written around 1790 to mark the death of Joseph II and the accession of his brother Leopold II. Both pieces are full of dramatic action and forthright representation of mood, and the ‘Joseph’ Cantata can quite legitimately be counted one of the composer’s most important early works, displaying remarkable maturity for a nineteen-year-old composer.
‘A great joy …a fervour of sustained inspiration. A disc which, given the chance, is likely to prove itself the quarter’s best investment’ (Gramophone)
‘There are some lovely performances here, especially from Corydon Singers themselves …this is a fascinating disc’ (BBC Record Review)
‘Arguably Beethoven’s ?rst major masterpiece …superb performance, at once fresh and incisive and deeply moving’ (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)
‘It’s always wonderful to come across some unfamiliar piece and relish unsuspected, undiscovered beauties …Hyperion’s enterprising disc of two early cantatas is thoroughly to be recommended. A marvellous disc’ (The Daily Telegraph)
‘Corydon Singers and the Corydon Orchestra and ?ve soloists all cover themselves with glory and the recording is ?ne’ (Daily Mail)
‘This issue matches its venturesome contents with well-balanced sound and ?ne performances’ (Hi-Fi News) ‘A revelatory issue, strongly recommended’ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland)
‘A unique disc which Beethoven lovers will ?nd magnetic’ (Soundscapes, Australia) Dawniej CDA 66880; Various dates; Blackheath Concert Halls, London, United Kingdom; Produced by Mark Brown; Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard; Release date: February 1997