Membra Jesu Nostri (2006)


The Netherlands Bach Society

Jos Van Veldhoven

This cycle, which is clearly not intended for liturgical use and dedicated to his friend Gustav Dben, must indubitably be seen as an expression of Buxtehude's own religious experience and personal devotion. In fact, we know unusually little about this great musician; no personal letters or anecdotes have survived. His music speaks to us all the more powerfully - especially the Membra Jesu Nostri, with its highly personal combination of introverted expressivity, deliberately simple declamation (here and there it can even be called naive), and great harmonic richness. No matter how alien the content of the medieval Latin text may be to our 21st-century sensibilities, it nevertheless inspired Buxtehude to produce a visionary setting, in a vivid cycle of compositions which still go straight to our hearts. Pieter Dirksen (from liner notes)

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The Netherlands Bach Society

Founded in 1921, The Netherlands Bach Society is the oldest Early Music ensemble in the Netherlands, and possibly in the whole world. Yet along with the musicians, its artistic director Jos van Veldhoven is still continually in search of contemporary ways of presenting this music, whether it be the traditional performances of the St. Matthew Passion in Naarden, other works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) or music by his predecessors, successors, contemporaries and fellow spirits.

The programmes are often compiled in an original way and thus give a refreshing view of the various musical styles from Schütz/Monteverdi to Haydn/Mozart, as well as of the central composer Bach himself. The flexibility of the ensemble makes it possible to perform works from the secular and sacred repertoires in a great variety of combinations of musicians. In the concerts, top priority is given to beauty, emotion, quality and authentic experience.

For a long time now, the activities of The Netherlands Bach Society have not been restricted to Naarden or Het Gooi, in the Netherlands. They are attracting growing national and international attention from large concert halls and important music festivals, and the ensemble increasingly plays the honourable role of cultural ambassador.

Besides working with principal conductor Jos van Veldhoven, The Netherlands Bach Society also performs with leading early music specialists from the Netherlands and abroad, such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Peter Dijkstra, Richard Egarr, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul McCreesh, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Masaaki Suzuki.

In order to reinforce the authentic experience, the concerts are supported where necessary by fringe programming, including introductions, workshops, exhibitions and book publications. Further emphasis is provided by the educational projects, which have also received several awards (e.g. Euro Media Award and the Classical Music Award from the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD)).

The Netherlands Bach Society and Jos van Veldhoven have recorded several CDs for Channel Classics, including the Great Organ Mass with the organist Leo van Doeselaar and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Illustrated editions of the Christmas Oratorio, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor have been published in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent.

Jos Van Veldhoven

Jos van Veldhoven studied musicology at Utrecht University, and choral and orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory in TheHague. He has been artistic director of TheNetherlands Bach Society since 1983, in which capacity he regularly directs performances at home and abroad of the major works of JohannSebastian Bach, his predecessors and contemporaries.Van Veldhoven also directs the UtrechtsBarok Consort, which he founded in 1976. With these ensembles he has made a great number of national and international radio, tv and cd The Netherlands Bach Society recordings, and has appeared in festivals in theNetherlands, Europe, the United States and Japan.Jos van Veldhoven is a frequent guest conductor with Dutch and foreign orchestras, including DasOrchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, The TokyoPhilharmonic Orchestra, the Robert Schumann Philharmonie, the Essener Philharmoniker, theBrabant Orchestra and the Limburg SymphonyOrchestra. Since 2001 he has collaborated with director Dietrich Hilsdorf on a cycle of stage dHandel oratorios at the opera houses of Bonn,Chemnitz and Essen.Jos van Veldhoven has attracted frequent attention with performances of newly discovered repertoire within the realm of early music, including noteworthy performances of oratorios by Telemann and Graun, Vespers by Gastoldi,reconstructions of Bach’s St Mark Passion, theso-called Köthener Trauer-Music and many unknown seventeenth-century dialogues. VanVeldhoven has conducted many contemporary premieres of Baroque operas by composers including Mattheson, Keiser, Andrea, Bononcini,Legrenzi, Conti and Scarlatti.Jos van Veldhoven is professor of choral conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory and theRoyal Conservatory in The Hague. In 2007 he was appointed Knight of the Order of the NetherlandsLion for his pioneering services to early music.

Johannette Zomer

After several years as a microbiologist, Dutch SopranoJohannette Zomer trained at the Sweelink Conservatorium,Amsterdam with Charles van Tassel. She currently studieswith Diane Forlano.Johannette made her opera debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlowith the Nationale Reisopera and has gone on to sing Belinda– Dido & Aeneas, La Musica & Euridice – L’Orfeo,Gassman’s Opera – Seria, Dalinda – Ariodante, Ilia – Idomeneo,Pamina – Die Zauberflöte and Amanda – Le GrandeMacabre for the company. She has also sung Oberto in Alcinaat the Komische Oper. On the concert platform she has aenviable reputation as a baroque specialist working with manyof the top conductors in the field such as Ton Koopman,Frans Bru?ggen, René Jacobs, Reinhardt Goebel and PaulMcCreesh as well as collaborating for 20th century and contemporaryrepertoire with Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding,Valery Gergiev, Reinbert de Leeuw and Peter Eötvös. Herrecent engagements have included Bach B Minor Mass with the Tonhalle Orchestra/Bru?ggen, and Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo with the Bamberger Symfoniker/Christian Zacharias.She regularly gives recitals with fortepianist Arthur Schoonderwoerd with whom she has recordedSchubert Songs for Alpha Records and is a member of the early music ensembles Compania Vocale andAntequera with whom she sings Neapolitan and Spanish baroque repertoire and medieval Cantigas.Johannette’s recent and future plans include projects of Handel and Frank Martin with the RiasKammerchor/Daniel Reuss; Bach and Buxtehude with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Koopman,Handel with Collegium Vocale, Gent and Gluck and Buxtehude with The Netherlands Bach Soc

Anne Grimm

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Membra Jesu Nostri (2006)


The Netherlands Bach Society


De beste opname (...) Kristalhelder, en indringend expressief. Luister en huiver!!


(...) hier met grote innigheid en gevoel voor mysterie vertolkt onder Jos van Veldhoven.

    De Telegraaf

Dirigent en artistiek leider Jos van Veldhoven bezit een gevoelig oor voor het introspectieve karakter van deze barokmuziek. Hij heeft vijf bekwame zangers gevonden die zich flexibel schikken naar hun omgeving. Het instrumentale aandeel klinkt al even verzorgd.

    De Parool

(...) uitmuntende vocale solisten in dit barokke unicum (...) (...) Johannette Zomer streelt de harten in de toegift, het Klagelied, dat Buxtehude schreef voor de begrafenis van zijn vader.

    Audio Muziek

(...) De beide sopranen (Anne Grimm en Johannette Zomer) zijn in topvorm en klinken bijna instrumentaal, zeer gedifferentieerd met hun stemmen imposant in de ruimte. Peter de Groot is een zeer soepele altus die de tekst vocaal gemakkelijk boetseert en Andrew Tortise is een strak klinkende tenor met een uitmuntende tekstbehandeling. Bas Ramselaar zal menigeen ook zeer vertrouwd zijn en zijn sonore bas levert niet alleen een verrukkelijk fundament maar is ook in de cantilenen indrukwekkend. (...) (...) Jos van Veldhoven en zijn ensemble zijn er hoorbaar alles aan gelegen om iedere cantate een eigen koloriet te geven. Zonder enig overdreven affect wordt ook het instrumentale kleurenpalet ontroerend mooi en fijnzinnig ontplooid, maar ook de transparantie van het geheel doet het hart werkelijk smelten. De korte, maar genspireerde cantate Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt vormt daarbij een zeer welkome aanvulling. Het Klaaglied (lamentio) is van een etherische schoonheid. (...) (...) Een prachtige opname, met de vocalisten en de instrumentalisten goed afgebeeld in de ruimte, helder en doorzichtig, met een goed zicht op het authentieke instrumentarium. Ook in de surround-modus treft de smaakvolle benadering van het opnameteam, al blijf ik - misschien erg eigenwijs - verknocht aan de 'gewone' stereo-installatie.

    Classics Today

(...) this performance by The Netherlands Bach Society features felicitous little touches of instrumental ornamentation, especially from theorbo player Mike Fentross. Johannette Zomers rendition of the lovely Klagelied (Lamentation), part of the filler material that closes the disc, is (but for some upper register notes) one of her finer performances in the past few years. (...)

    HP de Tijd

(...) De merkwaardige mengeling van eenvoud en harmonische rijkdom is driehonderd jaar na dato nog steeds fascinerend.

    De Gelderlander

(...) De muziek benadert de mystieke strekking van de overdenkingen zonder saai te worden. In deze nieuwe opnamen wordt de expressie weloverwogen opgebouwd, culminerend in een glorieuze finale Ad faciem. Alle zangers laten daarbij de fijnste finesse horen. Fraai ook het bijgevoegde Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrt.(...)

    The Star Leger

(...) die aangrypendste muziek wat die Pase beskryt (...) Lieflik versorgde opname, die soliste en instrumentaliste is duidelijk geskool in die idioon. Op n ho noot (South-Africa) () The performance is presented on authentic instruments; the addition of the theorbo, to my ears, gives this disc a richer instrumental presentation that is doubly enhanced by the SACDs surround content. The singers employed here are particularly effective, especially soprano Johannette Zomer, whose superb voice shines here as on previous Channel Classic releases. For lovers of Buxtehude and authentic period performance, this disc is a no-brainer, and is a superb multichannel listening experience. Highly recommended. Audiophile Audition () the warm, vibrant new set led by Jos van Veldhoven. This Dutchman fully transcends Buxtehude's formal uniformity through his brisk tempi and the way his performers dig in with an almost folk-tinged rhythmic immediacy. Veldhoven's way may be less pure, but it's vital. The Dutch recording also comes as a surround-sound SACD, heightening the effect.

    Tijdschrift Oude Muziek

(...) Van Veldhoven, sterk geholpen door luitist Mike Fentross, zoekt en vindt schoonheid in details en mooi wervelende tempi. Een geslaagde solistencast met (natuurlijk) Johannette Zomer, Anne Grimm, Peter de Groot en Bas Ramselaar krijgt internationaal cachet met de Engelse tenor Andrew Tortise. Ik zou haast wel de volledige bezetting moeten noemen, want met hun even virtuoze als zinvolle versieringen (eindelijk nieuwe noten!) dragen violisten Lohmann en Affourtit belangrijk bij aan de emotie die de opname ademt (...) (...) van Veldhovens interpretatie is als een spannend avontuur, met scherpe randjes, wel zo prikkelend.


Aktuell Magnificent new version of moving meditations on the crucified Christ. (...) Veldhovens direction of each cantatas opening sonata is beautifully measured according to the sentimental subject matter. (...)

    Toccata Alte Musik

(...) Musikalische Brillanz!!! (...) Concerto () Sie spielen Buxtehudes Membra Jesu nostri. Ach was, sie spielen. Sie revolutionieren! Das ist eine der faszinierendsten Einspielungen der letzten Jahre, weil sie so verblffend logisch und gensslich Buxtehudes bestes Werk, ja was jetzt inszeniert, interpretiert, revolutioniert, triumphal darbietet? (...) Jos van Veldhoven setzt sein Material, es ist das Beste, das man zu diesem Vorhaben zu Verfgung haben kann, gezielt und punktgenau ein, lsst die verschiedenen Timbres sich aneinander entwickeln, gestaltet schmerzhafte Spannung uns selige Erlsung, sagenhaft. Das ist Musik! Das ist der wahre Buxtehude. (...) T

Membra Jesu Nostri (2006)


The Netherlands Bach Society

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: DCS AD DSD / DCS DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B+W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel and Kjaer
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Walter van Hauwe
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Waalse Kerk Amsterdam Holland 2005
Recording Software: Merging technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audio Lab

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24006: Membra Jesu Nostri
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Ad pedes ?Ecce super montes?
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Ad genua ?Ad ubera portabimini
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Ad manus ?Quid sunt plagae istae
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Ad latus ?Surge amica mea
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Ad pectus ?Sicut modo geniti infantes
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Vulnerasti cor meum?
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Ad faciem ?Illustra faciem tuam
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Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrth
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Fried- und Freudenreiche Hinfahrth - Klagelied
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