The German composer, Heinrich Schutz, and the Italian, Monteverdi, were the first geniuses of the Baroque era. Schutz went on to be highly influential of the later German masters, in his cosmopolitanism and historical eclecticism.
In this recording, Schutz's choral music is imbued with the Venetian polychoral and concertato style of his teachers Gabrieli and Monteverdi. Along with his teachers' approach, there is always a hint of an earlier renaissance modality, which is the hallmark of Schutz's originality.
This 'Passion 'consists of long passages of dialogue recitative followed by too brief choral settings. The recitative singing is convincing in its half way style between a more natural renaissance declamation and a more operatic expressiveness. Julian Podger as the evangelist and Jacob Bloch Jespersen as Christ are highly engaging and extremely capable. Paul Hiller conducts the Ars Nova group beautifully, highlighting subtle phrasing and dovetailing counterpoint. Highly recommended.