Christian Friedrich Ruppe cantatas have broad appeal

Handel wrote “Messiah” to benefit the London Foundlings Hospital and it’s now a holiday standard. Christian Friedrich Ruppe wrote his cantatas to benefit an orphan’s home in Leiden. After their initial performances, they remained unheard for 250 years.

Ruppe wrote the Christmas and Easter cantatas on this release for the Holy Spirit of Poor Orphans and Children’s Home.

The works were not only to be performed to raise funds for the home but were sung by the orphanage choir founded by Ruppe. After the concerts, the music was stored away, only to be rediscovered in 1987.

These cantatas have a directness and simplicity I found charming. The limits of the orphanage’s choir may have constrained Ruppe technically, but not melodically. Each chorus is just one beautifully turned phrase after another.

The solo voices also have somewhat simple music. Simple, and attractive. I’m reminded of Haydn’s choral writing (for his operas, that is).

Jed Wentz leads his assembled forces in elegantly balanced performances. The Musica ad Rhenum, performing with historically accurate instruments, create a full, warm sound in line with the character of Ruppe’s music.

The Ensemble Bouzignac has more than enough talent to handle Ruppe’s choruses. And they use that to make them beautifully mellifluous.

OK, it isn’t “Messiah,” or even “The Seasons.” But these cantatas are straight-forward and direct in their appeal. And I think that’s quite appealing.

Christian Friedrich Ruppe
Christmas Cantata; Easter Cantata
Francine van der Heyden, soprano; Karin van der Poel, mezzo-soprano; Otto Bouwknegt, tenor; Mitchel Sandler, bass
Ensemble Bouzignac; Musica ad Rhenum; Jed Wentz, conductor
Brilliant Classics, 96108

 

More Recent Posts

  • #ClassicsaDay #SymYesNo Week 3

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    For the month of September, the Classics a Day team chose a controversial theme. There is a small subset of symphonic works within the classical repertoire that appear misnamed. Most composers choose their titles carefully. But when the title runs counter to expectations, disagreements arise. What does the title “symphony” mean? Can a composition be […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: David Eisenman

    Tags:

    For decades, David Eisenman has served as WTJU’s Jazz Director, coordinating the department “as loosely as humanly possible,” as he puts it. He insists on responsible broadcasting, but with passion for the music and the love to share it. “Big in my playbook is diversity in the genre,” says David. “I have always attempted to make the umbrella […]

  • Stephen Pollock digs into Cherry Red, September 30

    Tags: , , , , ,

    Stephen Pollock, guitarist and leader of Cherry Red, the best Rolling Stones cover band in central Virginia, will join the Juddermeister on Induced to Judder September 30th at 9pm. Stephen will be promoting a special show the band will be performing paying tribute to Charlie Watts who recently passed away. This event will be held […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: Louise Largiader

    Tags:

    For Louise Largiader, WTJU was something of a slippery slope. First, she was a longtime listener. Then she started donating to the Marathons. Then answering phones during them. She says she never thought she’d be on the radio, but she made the jump to on-air DJ a few years ago. Here at the station, we’re so glad […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: Rebecca Foster

    Tags:

    Rebecca Foster brings eclectic music tastes to WTJU. Heck, one of the shows she hosts is even called Eclectic Woman. She also shares an hour of gospel every other Sunday morning during In The Spirit. And in more than two decades at WTJU, she has covered on-air shifts in each of our departments. Despite Rebecca’s youthful energy, she is not […]