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Das Gansebuch (The Geese Book): German Medieval Chant. Naxos 8.557412


Composer(s): Brumann, Conrad; Finck, Heinrich; Isaac, Heinricus; Kotter,
Hans; Osiander, Lucas; Othmayr, Kaspar; Paumann, Conrad; Schlick, Arnolt;
Senfl, Ludwig

Conductor(s): Dobszay, Laszlo; Szendrei, Janka

Choir(s): Schola Hungarica

Artist(s): Ank, Matthias


Das Gansebuch Review

“I admit it was the cover that got my attention-first, the title,
referring to an 1120-page manuscript collection containing the only existing
original copies of pre-Reformation liturgical music from Nuremburg; second, the
illustration, an illumination from the collection that depicts a wolf directing
a choir of geese singing from a large music book, a hungry-looking fox sitting
on hind-quarters just behind the choir. Upon listening to the music, I was
reassured that there was more to appreciate here than the intriguing, colorful
illustration and charming title. The focus of the singing is late-medieval
chants from various Masses particular to the church of St. Lorenz in Nuremburg.
The disc's producers wisely interspersed the chant selections with short organ
pieces from 15th- and 16th-century German composers. The combination works well,
retaining the appropriate celebratory mood and church ambience while offering
the ear welcome variety of sounds and textures. (The notes also mention that
organ music was part of the St. Lorenz liturgy, thus its inclusion here,
performed on the St. Lorenz organ by the church's music director Matthias Ank.)
Some of the chants offered are

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