Secular Vocal Works

Secular Vocal Works

Beethoven, Ludwig van






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Beethoven’s secular vocal works, many rarely heard today, were composed for a variety of reasons. Some were written for marriages, to mark the departure of a friend or to celebrate a name day, while others allude to Masonic imagery or set the words of great literary contemporaries, such as Schiller. The larger canvas of Mehrstimmige italienische Gesänge reflects Beethoven’s studies of Italian word-setting with Antonio Salieri, revealing insights into Beethoven’s achievements during his early years in Vienna. Viennese chamber choir Cantus Novus Wien draws on an extensive repertoire of Baroque, Classical, and contemporary music, including a cappella choral music, oratorios by Handel and Haydn, and requiems by Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, and Fauré. Contemporary music is one of the choir’s focal points, including regular world premieres of commissioned pieces. The choir has been conducted by Thomas Holmes since 2001. Ensemble Tamanial is a vocal quartet based in Vienna, Austria. The ensemble was established to provide a place in which to grow and learn as musicians through undertaking soloist responsibility across a wide variety of musical styles, including Renaissance, Classical, Romantic and also in contemporary works. For these Beethoven recordings the ensemble have been working closely with Thomas Holmes as their musical director and wish to express their deep gratitude.