Dresdener Glockenpracht

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Dresdener Glockenpracht features the bells of six churches in Dresden, with choral interjections by various Dresden choirs singing anthems and motets reflecting the seasons of the liturgical year and interludes played on mechanical glockenspiels. The album is not so much a unified musical whole as a documentary record of the religious sounds of a city. While the choirs sing well enough, and the glockenspiels have an antique charm, the real draw here is the sound of the pealing bells. The largest set, including eight bells, the oldest being cast in 1518, is that of the Frauenkirche, and the smallest is from the Protestant Versöhnungkirche, which has three bells. The tracks of the bells last from two to five minutes, but they are so attractive that the CD would have had a stronger impact if it consisted only of the ringing. Close listening reveals such an infinitely varying number of patterns that even with the smallest set of bells, three minutes of their playing seems far too short. The finale, which includes three of the churches and a total of 18 bells playing together, lasts only two minutes, but it has such grandeur and variety that it could have continued many times that length without tiring the listener attentive to the splendor of church bells.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:52
Cantata No. 62, "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland," BWV 62 (BC A2)
2 1:13
3 3:17
4 3:02
Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7)
5 2:11
6 4:03
7 2:22
8 3:08
9 1:10
Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E major ("La Primavera," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 1), Op.8/1, RV 269
10 3:01
11 3:11
12 1:21
13 3:17
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620
14 1:49
15 0:42
Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten (IV), chorale prelude for organ (WFN 3, AMN II/11), BWV 691 (BC K99)
16 1:52
17 3:06
18 5:21
19 3:04
20 1:08
21 2:19
Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297
22 2:09
23 2:05
24 2:04
blue highlight denotes track pick