In recent times the sacred vocal compositions of Johann Rosenmüller have increasingly drawn the attention of performing musicians. Most noticeably, this newly awakened interest concentrated on the Latin psalm compositions from the composer's Venetian period, which since the groundbreaking study of Fred Hamel (1933) have been recognized as the most important work group among the surviving oeuvre. Nevertheless only few of these compositions are available in modern editions. The present volume intends to help fill this gap. It presents six works (five psalm settings and a magnificat) mostly scored for large forces, which together form the backbone of a musical vespers.
The compilation thus follows the model of numerous Venetian prints from the seventeenth century, without intending, however, to suggest a fixed cyclic coherence – even though the order presented here has proven successful in a great number of performances.
The present volume is based on scores prepared by the editor in the autumn and winter of 1995 in connection with a CD production of the ensemble Cantus Cölln. Its publication follows a frequently expressed wish to have these works made available to a larger circle of interested performers and scholars and thus to honour a master who influenced German music history of the mid-seventeenth century like no other.
(Peter Wollny, translation by Stephanie Wollny)