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American Record Guide: (05/2020) 
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Reviewer: William J. Gatens

Several psalms begin with the words “Cantate Domino” (Sing unto the Lord). This recording brings together important baroque compositions by Bach, Buxtehude, Telemann, and Handel that take those words as their point of departure, whether in German, Latin, or English. Two works by Bach frame the program: the 1724 New Year Cantata 190 (Singet dem Herrn ein Neues Lied) and the double choir motet of the same name (S 225). Both take their texts from Psalm 149. Cantata 190 survives as a fragment. All that we have of the first two movements are the violin and vocal parts. For this performance Gordon Safari has prepared his own reconstruction in Bach’s festive scoring, which includes trumpets and timpani. He also claims this as a first recording of Telemann’s cantata of Psalm 98. The earliest music here is Buxtehude’s 'Cantate Domino’ for three voices and continuo. Its Latin text comes from Psalm 96 (Vulgate 95). Handel’s 'O Sing unto the Lord a New Song’ from the Chandos Anthems also takes its text from Psalm 96 in the English translation from the Book of Common Prayer. Interspersed among these baroque works are four solutions of Mozart’s nine-part puzzle canon 'Cantate Domino’ (from K 73r). Safari claims two of these solutions as his own, and therefore this is their first recording. Safari founded this ensemble in 2015, and this is their debut recording. He approaches this repertory with a youthful, even brash exuberance. Some of the tempos on this recording are very fast, yet his young singers and players are more than equal to the challenge. The soloists are members of the choir, and some are better than others. As a choir, their performance is outstanding, particularly in Bach’s double choir motet. The recorded sound in Cantata 190 is too bright, thin, and raucous; but elsewhere the sound is warmer and more agreeable.

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