Classical album reviews: Keeril Makan, Akademie Fur Alter Musik Berlin, Capella De La Torre


Keeril Makan 'Afterglow' (Mode)

As titles such as “Afterglow” and “After Forgetting” might suggest, there’s an emphasis on entropy in Keeril Makan’s music, performed here by the International Contemporary Ensemble. “Becoming Unknown” opens with piercing wind dissonances, gradually dissolving into sparse, inquisitive interplay between bass flute, bass clarinet and double bass; and in the solo piano piece “Afterglow”, Makan seems as fascinated with the minutiae of decay and resonance as Morton Feldman. “Mercury Songbirds” has a Feldmanesque manner, too, with piano and clarinet phrases poking their beaks over a parapet of droning strings and winds. “Mu” and “Husk” are more gratingly abstract, but “After Forgetting” concludes the album on serene, pulsing piano chords.


Download: Mercury Songbirds; Afterglow; Becoming Unknown; After Forgetting

Akademie Für Alte Musik  Berlin, Hans-Christoph Rademann 'C P E Bach: Magnificat' (Harmonia Mundi)

The three works featured here represent what C P E Bach considered his finest achievements, modestly included in his 1786 concert of the century’s greatest compositions. The arias and chorales in his Magnificat echoes his father J S Bach’s Mass in B minor, as if emphasising his lineage. It pivots around the exquisite “Deposuit potentes  de sede”, before climaxing in  a double-hit of soul-soaring chorales, “Gloria Patri et Filio” and “Sicut erat in principio”. It’s accompanied by a double-choir chorale of deceptive simplicity and dexterity, Heilig ist Gott,  and a brief, three-part Sinfonie, rendered with grace by the Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin.


Download: Deposuit potentes de sede;  Gloria Patri et Filio; Sicut erat in principio; Heilig ist Gott

Capella De La Torre, Katharina Bäuml 'Luther’s Wedding Day' (Challenge Classics)

Since the Early Music movement became an established part of classical music, a sub-genre has developed of historical re-creations. Most recently, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort’s A New Venetian Coronation depicted the pageantry surrounding the coronation of Marino Grimani as Doge of Venice in 1595, to which this looser representation of Martin Luther’s 1525 marriage ceremony offers a Protestant equivalent. Taking us through processional and service to the subsequent celebratory dances with an appealing blend of three-part vocal polyphony and arrangements of sackbut, organ, shawm and dulcian, its programme draws from Luther’s own songs. Educational and entertaining.


Download: Loquebar de testimoniis;  Nisi dominus aedificaverit domum;  Fammi una gratia, amore