Beloved & Beautiful (2008)

Bohm, Bach, Schutz

The Netherlands Bach Society

Jos Van Veldhoven

Johannette Zomer, Stephan Macleod, Marcel Beekman, Hary van der Kamp

Hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, a collection of love songs grew up. Under the title of the “Most beautiful of songs”, they found a home in the Old Testament-it was Martin Luther who first gave them the name of “Song of songs”-and since that time they have inspired and fascinated a vast number of theologians, mystics, philosophers, poets, painters, and, last but not least, composers. Particularly during the Baroque period, these poetic, sensual, vividly descriptive texts were set over and over again to music, and they inspired librettists to expand on the original texts. Some of the most beautiful settings of the Song of Songs were produced in Germany. One classic example is the motet for double chorus, Steh auf, meine Freundin (Arise, my beloved) (SWV 498) by Heinrich Schütz. It is among the few of his surviving compositions which have not been printed. We still know little of the background for this lively work; it has been dated approximately 1650.

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Johannette Zomer

After several years as a microbiologist, Dutch SopranoJohannette Zomer trained at the Sweelink Conservatorium,Amsterdam with Charles van Tassel. She currently studieswith Diane Forlano.Johannette made her opera debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlowith the Nationale Reisopera and has gone on to sing Belinda– Dido & Aeneas, La Musica & Euridice – L’Orfeo,Gassman’s Opera – Seria, Dalinda – Ariodante, Ilia – Idomeneo,Pamina – Die Zauberflöte and Amanda – Le GrandeMacabre for the company. She has also sung Oberto in Alcinaat the Komische Oper. On the concert platform she has aenviable reputation as a baroque specialist working with manyof the top conductors in the field such as Ton Koopman,Frans Bru?ggen, René Jacobs, Reinhardt Goebel and PaulMcCreesh as well as collaborating for 20th century and contemporaryrepertoire with Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding,Valery Gergiev, Reinbert de Leeuw and Peter Eötvös. Herrecent engagements have included Bach B Minor Mass with the Tonhalle Orchestra/Bru?ggen, and Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo with the Bamberger Symfoniker/Christian Zacharias.She regularly gives recitals with fortepianist Arthur Schoonderwoerd with whom she has recordedSchubert Songs for Alpha Records and is a member of the early music ensembles Compania Vocale andAntequera with whom she sings Neapolitan and Spanish baroque repertoire and medieval Cantigas.Johannette’s recent and future plans include projects of Handel and Frank Martin with the RiasKammerchor/Daniel Reuss; Bach and Buxtehude with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Koopman,Handel with Collegium Vocale, Gent and Gluck and Buxtehude with The Netherlands Bach Soc

The Netherlands Bach Society

Founded in 1921, The Netherlands Bach Society is the oldest Early Music ensemble in the Netherlands, and possibly in the whole world. Yet along with the musicians, its artistic director Jos van Veldhoven is still continually in search of contemporary ways of presenting this music, whether it be the traditional performances of the St. Matthew Passion in Naarden, other works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) or music by his predecessors, successors, contemporaries and fellow spirits.

The programmes are often compiled in an original way and thus give a refreshing view of the various musical styles from Schütz/Monteverdi to Haydn/Mozart, as well as of the central composer Bach himself. The flexibility of the ensemble makes it possible to perform works from the secular and sacred repertoires in a great variety of combinations of musicians. In the concerts, top priority is given to beauty, emotion, quality and authentic experience.

For a long time now, the activities of The Netherlands Bach Society have not been restricted to Naarden or Het Gooi, in the Netherlands. They are attracting growing national and international attention from large concert halls and important music festivals, and the ensemble increasingly plays the honourable role of cultural ambassador.

Besides working with principal conductor Jos van Veldhoven, The Netherlands Bach Society also performs with leading early music specialists from the Netherlands and abroad, such as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Peter Dijkstra, Richard Egarr, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul McCreesh, Lars Ulrik Mortensen and Masaaki Suzuki.

In order to reinforce the authentic experience, the concerts are supported where necessary by fringe programming, including introductions, workshops, exhibitions and book publications. Further emphasis is provided by the educational projects, which have also received several awards (e.g. Euro Media Award and the Classical Music Award from the Dutch Association of Theatres and Concert Halls (VSCD)).

The Netherlands Bach Society and Jos van Veldhoven have recorded several CDs for Channel Classics, including the Great Organ Mass with the organist Leo van Doeselaar and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Illustrated editions of the Christmas Oratorio, the St. John Passion and the Mass in B minor have been published in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent.

Jos Van Veldhoven

Jos van Veldhoven studied musicology at Utrecht University, and choral and orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory in TheHague. He has been artistic director of TheNetherlands Bach Society since 1983, in which capacity he regularly directs performances at home and abroad of the major works of JohannSebastian Bach, his predecessors and contemporaries.Van Veldhoven also directs the UtrechtsBarok Consort, which he founded in 1976. With these ensembles he has made a great number of national and international radio, tv and cd The Netherlands Bach Society recordings, and has appeared in festivals in theNetherlands, Europe, the United States and Japan.Jos van Veldhoven is a frequent guest conductor with Dutch and foreign orchestras, including DasOrchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, The TokyoPhilharmonic Orchestra, the Robert Schumann Philharmonie, the Essener Philharmoniker, theBrabant Orchestra and the Limburg SymphonyOrchestra. Since 2001 he has collaborated with director Dietrich Hilsdorf on a cycle of stage dHandel oratorios at the opera houses of Bonn,Chemnitz and Essen.Jos van Veldhoven has attracted frequent attention with performances of newly discovered repertoire within the realm of early music, including noteworthy performances of oratorios by Telemann and Graun, Vespers by Gastoldi,reconstructions of Bach’s St Mark Passion, theso-called Köthener Trauer-Music and many unknown seventeenth-century dialogues. VanVeldhoven has conducted many contemporary premieres of Baroque operas by composers including Mattheson, Keiser, Andrea, Bononcini,Legrenzi, Conti and Scarlatti.Jos van Veldhoven is professor of choral conducting at the Amsterdam Conservatory and theRoyal Conservatory in The Hague. In 2007 he was appointed Knight of the Order of the NetherlandsLion for his pioneering services to early music.

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Beloved & Beautiful (2008)

Bohm, Bach, Schutz

The Netherlands Bach Society

    American Record Guide

I continue to be impressed with this group and especially with Zomer's singing.

konzertante Instrumentalteile, die wunderbar melodiös klingen. Das Stück wird von der Niederländischen Bach Gesellschaft herrlich kantabel vorgetragen. Besonders das dichte Legato-Spiel von Pieter Dirksen am Orgelpositiv gibt den vier Gesangssolisten ein solides Fundament, auf dem ihre Stimmen herrlich schweben. Johannette Zomer (Sopran), Marcel Beekman (Tenor), Stephan MacLeod (Bass) und Marc Chambers stellen ein hervorragend aufeinander eingehendes Solistenensembel dar, dessen stimmliche Homogenität und klangliche Schönheit einfach überzeugend ist. Manchmal wirkt Zomers Aussprache in der Konsonantenbehandlung etwas zu deutlich, doch insgesamt trägt das allgemeine Bemühen um eine klare Diktion zur Steigerung des Ausdrucksgehalts der Interpretationen bei. Ebenfalls doppelchörig ist die Motette 'Steh auf, meine Freundin' von Heinrich Schütz. Das Stück wird auf ca.1650 datiert, doch ist bis heute nichts Näheres über die Entstehungsumstände bekannt. Sehr delikat und fein ausmusiziert betont die Interpretation von van Veldhoven die farbenreichen Klangnuancen der doppelchörigen Besetzung. Mit nur sparsamer Instrumentalbegleitung liegt der Schwerpunkt auf den virtuos agierenden Sängern.

    Classics Today

the singing is first-rate, and if anything the instrumental playing - both solo and ensemble - is even more impressive, absolutely superb throughout the entire program. And as we've come to expect, Channel Classics' sound is demonstration-quality in all formats. Baroque-music fans will find much to enjoy on this well-chosen program of rare and very worthy repertoire - a real treat, especially for the two Bach works! (...)


gewohnt stimmig und gut.


Barokke juweeltjes verpakt in Super Audio.

    Financieel Dagblad

JS Bach was niet de eerste Bach die met muziek zijn luisteraars tot tranen vermocht te roeren. Zijn achteroom Johann Christoph kon er ook wat van, zo blijkt uit diens beroemdste werk, de huwelijkscantate 'Meine Freunding ist mein' (1679). Fijnzinnig musiceren van een solistenkwartet en een uitgelezen instrumentaal ensemble van de Nederlandse Bachvereniging.


Een mooi keus weer dit project, qua repertoire, qua solisten en qua muzikaal programmatisch concept. (...)

den vier Gesangssolisten stellen ein hervorragend aufeinander eingehendes Solisten ensemble dar, dessen stimmliche Homogenität und klangliche Schönheit einfach überzeugend ist.

Beloved & Beautiful (2008)

Bohm, Bach, Schutz

The Netherlands Bach Society

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Meitner A/D DSD / Meitner DA
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer:Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Eindhoven Holland 2008
Recording Software:Pyramix bij Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:Audiolab, Holland

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27308: Beloved & Beautiful
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Mein Freund ist mein Cantata
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Meine Freundin, du bist schön Cantata
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Stehe auf, meine Freundin Motet - Prima Pars
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Stehe auf, meine Freundin Motet - Secunda Pars
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Der Herr denket an uns, bwv 196 - Sinfonia
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Der Herr denket an uns, bwv 196 - Coro
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Der Herr denket an uns, bwv 196 - Aria (soprano)
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Der Herr denket an uns, bwv 196 - Duet (tenor, bass)
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Der Herr denket an uns, bwv 196 - Coro
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