An endless source of beauty

J.H.Schein’s 1623 madrigal collection ‘Israelis Brünnlein’


26 February 2021
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If J.S.Bach is the sun for Collegium Vocale Gent, then the entire universe of the German Baroque is the ensemble's natural habitat. No grammar is so perfectly suited to Philippe Herreweghe as Luther's poetic and rhetorically charged legacy, which was eloquently expressed by numerous composers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Like Samuel Scheidt and Heinrich Schütz, Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) was also able to capture the emotional power of modern Italian music in his works. Schein had not been to Italy himself, but had made the style his own by reading Ludovico Viadana's famous collection Cento concerti ecclesiastici and transferring it to his own German mother tongue.

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Collegium Vocale Gent - Israelis Brünnlein
Evil Penguin TV

Collegium Vocale Gent - Israelis Brünnlein

Available for on-demand replay until March 26 2021.

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As cantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig and thus one of Bach's illustrious predecessors, Schein connected the southern idiom with his own Lutheran world. His magnum opus, the five-part collection of madrigals Fontana d'Israel or Israelis Brünnlein from 1623 on texts from the Old Testament, is brilliant proof of this. In these sacred madrigals, he effortlessly combines the polyphonic style with baroque expressiveness to create a brilliant source of musical eloquence.

Over the years, Collegium Vocale Gent has been a guest several times in the beautiful baroque Carmelite Church in its hometown Ghent. The crystal-clear acoustics and the magnificent décor are an optimal setting for performing vocal works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It is therefore no coincidence that conductor Philippe Herreweghe chose his 'home church' for a recording of one of the absolute gems from the early Baroque period in Germany.

A selection of 17 of the total of 26 motets was recorded by the soloists of Collegium Vocale Gent: sopranos Dorothee Mields and Barbora Kabatková, alto Robert Getchell, tenor Tore Tom Denys and bass Wolf Matthias Friedrich. Cellist Ageet Zweistra and organist Bart Naessens play the basso continuo.

Soprano I

Soprano II






Artistic Director

Dorothee Mields

Barbora Kabátková

Robert Getchell

Tore Tom Denys

Wolf Matthias Friedrich

Bart Naessens

Ageet Zweistra

Philippe Herreweghe


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