Contains works by
F. Capella, G. Casati, G. Cocci, P. Cornetti, G. P. Finatti, A. Grandi, A. Mazak, M. Mielczewski, C. Monteverdi, G. A. Rigatti, G. Rovetta, J. Stadlmayr and S. Vesi
In the process of reorganizing musical life in Protestant Germany after the Thirty Years’ War the printed anthologies of the Breslau organist and merchant Ambrosius Profe and the collection compiled between 1641 and 1649 by the Berlin cantor Johann Havemann played a central role. When in 1659 Havemann published his own collection he followed Profe not only in the wording of his title, but also referred to his model explicitly in his dedicatory preface to the elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg. Aiming at the highest quality, they provided contemporaries with a representative survey of the musical developments that had taken place south of the Alps in the decades since the outbreak of the war. Havemann’s collection, too, must have been very successful, as even today its wide dissemination has left numerous bibliographical traces.
At least in his early years in Berlin Havemann seems to have been active more as director of sacred music at court than as cantor at the electoral school. This would also explain the excellent quality of his Geistliche Concerten of 1659, which rather point to a courtly atmosphere. In the choice of his repertoire (Grandi, Rovetta, Monteverdi) he shows obvious parallels to Profe, but there is also a noticeable effort to present a distinct profile of his own.
With his Geistliche Concerten of 1659 the Berlin cantor and music director at the cathedral Johann Havemann compiled an excellent anthology of the master works of his time. The collection is a remarkable monument of musical life between the Elbe and Oder rivers in the mid-seventeenth century.
(Peter Wollny, translation by Stephanie Wollny)