The Brockes-Passion can be considered the archetype of the German Passion oratorio. As such, it served as a model and source ofinspiration for famous later masterpieces, enjoying uninterrupted popularity throughout the 18th century when no less than 11 composers, including Handel and Telemann, set it to music. The superb version by Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739) is not only the first but also adheres most closely to the great rhetorical power and rich changes of affects of the poets text. In German literary history, Barthold Heinrich Brockes (1680-1747) is known above all for his innovative role during the second quarter of the 18th century.
Niccolò Jommelli was one of the most sought after composers of his time, but finally accepted to become musical director at the court of Stuttgart in 1753. Three years later he composed his Requiem to commemorates the recent death of the Duchess von Württemberg, mother of his patron, the Duke Carl Eugen.. Despite the fact that Jommelli owed his fame almost exclusively to his operas during his lifetime, the Requiem became his most famous work after his death; the almost one hundred handwritten and printed copies of the entire work or fragments of it that have survived in some seventy libraries throughout Europe, some also in the USA, bear witness to this. Whilst the score and parts of the first performance have been lost, we can still form a reasonably good idea of the original instrumentation thanks to a surviving list of payments made to the musicians. We know that there were eight singers (one female and seven male) in addition to Jommelli.
This recording proposes to illustrate the musical context in which evolved the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck. At that time, the duchy of Burgundy, under Philip the Good (Dijon, 1396-Bruges, 1467), father of Charles the Bold (Dijon, 1433- Nancy, 1477), is much more powerful than the kingdom of France, weakened by the Hundred Years War. His sovereign, Charles VII, is discredited by a hint of illegitimacy, and it is Joan of Arc who will lead him to Reims to be crowned in 1429.