Hermann Baumann is easily one of the finest horn players of the second half of the 20th century. He came to prominence as a soloist in the 1960s and in 1964 won the prestigious ARD International Music Competition in Munich, beating out Jessye Norman for first place
The German baritone Hermann Prey was born in Berlin in 1929. In a career that spanned some 48 years, he became one of the most popular singers of his time and formed a great bond with his audiences through his unaffected and natural style of singing and his personal charm and acting ability. His repertoire was extremely wide and encompassed all the classic German Lieder, as well as a whole range of operatic roles from the lively Figaro of both Mozart and Rossini to more serious baritone parts in Verdi and Wagner, although it is in the lighter roles that he is most affectionately remembered. He enjoyed great success in the world's major opera houses including Vienna, Bayreuth, Salzburg, Munich, Milan and New York, and also appeared frequently on German TV and in opera films. He died in 1998.
When Johann Hermann Schein became Kantor at the church of Saint Thomas in Leipzig in 1616, he had, on the one hand, to satisfy the liturgical demands of his Lutheran parish and, on the other, compose music that was truly contemporary, sensible to the new style coming out of Italy. Schein exploited the new possibilities brought by the basso continuo, demonstrated his mastery of musical rhetoric and wrote extremely ambitious music of great expressive force. The instrumentation calls for instruments such as the cornet, trombone and dulcian, Schein drawing his musicians from the forces of the Stadtpfeiffer and Ratsmusiker, guilds of instrumentalists attached to the City of Leipzig since the 15th century. For this musical portrait of Schein, one of the greatest German composers of the 17th century and one of J. S. Bachs most talented predecessors, InAlto presents an itinerary to the sources of the German cantata and testimony to the extraordinary tradition of city musicians perpetuated over the centuries. In addition to Scheins music, this heritage is represented here by Johann Schelle, Gottfried Reiche and J. S. Bach.