As part of Harmonia Mundi’s Les Nouveaux Musiciens series, designed to profile emerging European talent, soprano Annette Dasch and members of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin offer a diverse selection of German baroque songs. The program is divided into five parts–Liebe (love), Vergänglichkeit (precariousness), Frieden (peace), Natur (nature), and Glück (luck)–themes that preoccupied poets and musicians of the period. Unfortunately, unless you are fluent in German, even remotely appreciating this otherwise thoughtful concept will be difficult since the accompanying booklet offers no English translations. Be that as it may, Dasch has a fine voice–light and pearly with substantial range and agreeable tone.
There are moments, such as in Philipp Heinrich Erlebach’s “Amor, eile und erteile treuen Rat” and Erasmus Kindermann’s “Gott se gedanckt, der Fried steht noch”, where Dasch’s legato is less than ideal, though generally her lovely instrument is well suited to the emotional variety of these predominantly lively songs. Early on, Dasch offers a delightfully spirited romp in Andreas Hammerschmidt’s brief and boisterous “Schönheit, du kanst zwar wol binden”, accompanied by equally animated strings and tambourine (as with the omitted translations, nowhere in the booklet are the members of the orchestra credited–very strange and certainly atypical of Harmonia Mundi’s productions). Johann Krieger’s “Wol dem der sich vergnügt” likewise recieves an inspired performance, augmented by Dasch’s whistles following the second stanza, humming following the third, and additional (again uncredited) vocalists following the fourth. Harmonia Mundi’s sound is quite good, slightly favoring the soloist.