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Constantin Emanuel

Constantin Emanuel sings from Schemellis Gesangbuch

  • Type CD
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917226324
  • Catalog number CC 72263
  • Release date 06 January 2015
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About the album

TON KOOPMAN: Georg Christian Schemelli (ca. 1676-1762) is known to us primarily because of the book of songs he published, the Musicalisches Gesang-Buch (Leipzig, 1736). This book contains 954 songs, 69 of which have melodies and a figured bass. It was long assumed that Johann Sebastian Bach, who is mentioned in the preface to the volume, played a major part in the completion of these songs, or at least in writing  the figured bass lines. The 69 songs are therefore included in the corpus of the Bach Werke Verzeichnis (BWV catalogue). Although Schemelli’s volume was not particularly successful when it first appeared, being sold off at remainder prices, the position has changed quite radically now. These occasionally simple, directly appealing melodies and texts now form part of the day-to-day repertoire of many singers. Editions of what has become a well-loved volume are available in all sorts of transpositions.
This CD displays the talents of a boy treble who turned 15 a few months ago and who is still singing as a treble – quite unusual these days but absolutely normal in Bach’s time, when boys’ voices would often ‘break’ at around the age of 16. I think it is important for us to document a voice of this sort. Since the days of Sebastian Hennig, whose voice can be followed from the age of 11 through to 15 on many of Gustav Leonhardt’s recordings of Bach cantatas, Constantin is one of the very few boy trebles whose voice transcends the ‘sweet’ and who has something to say in musical terms.

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