Ernst Krenek never did anything to anybody that he should have to sing the lament of Jeremiah the Prophet. But then, who ever did? And who has not sung the song of Lamentatio who ever did anything to anybody that he should have to sing it. Sure, Krenek was a big hit back in the good old days of the Weimar Republic. He had hits in the opera house, hits in the concert hall. He could write anything -- comedy, tragedy, symphony, opera -- and he was incredibly good at it. He grew so famous that they even named a cigarette after him. And then came the Nazis and that was it for the good old days and suddenly Krenek found himself in the hills of the New World lamenting the fall of the Old World to madness and barbarism. And yet such austerity, such severity, such humanity is in every bar of Krenek's a cappella Lamentatio that the work howls with the horror of Job in the depths of his bereavement over the incomprehensible death of his children. It is a profoundly moving work of supreme sublimity.
And it sounds that way in this stupendous recording by Marcus Creed and the RIAS-Kammerchor. The singing is always in tune and always and everywhere deeply and passionately expressive. The conducting is always cogent and always and everywhere profoundly and transcendentally spiritual. The sound is simply stupendous: close, warm, round, rich, and almost real.