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BT 0093
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BT 0093

BLACHER, B.: Grossinquisitor (Der) [Oratorio] (Nimsgern, Leipzig Radio Chorus, Dresden Philharmonic, Kegel)

The Classical Shop
release date: December 2013

Originally recorded in 2013


Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra


Herbert Kegel


Siegmund Nimsgern


Leipzig Radio Chorus



Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany


Record Label
Brilliant Classics




Total Time - 59:25
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Der Grossinquisitor, Op. 21

1 Part I: Nach seiner unendlichen Barmherzigkeit (Choir) 03:32
2 Part I: Unmerklich und leise kommt er daher (Choir) 04:22
3 Part I: Aus der Menge tont es laut (Choir) 02:33
4 Part I: Die stufen des Doms von Sevilla (Choir) 06:20
5 Part I: Da schreitet plotet plotzlich uber den weiten Platz (Choir) 04:25
6 Part I: All marcia 00:42
7 Part I: Einmutig wie von gleichem Willen gelenkt (Choir) 01:55
8 Part II: Langsam neigt sich der Tag (Choir) 02:51
9 Part II: Bist Du es wirklich (Baritone) 04:59
10 Part II: Der furchtbare sind es allein (Baritone, Choir) 05:42
11 Part II: Drei Machte sind es allein (Baritone, Choir) 06:18
12 Part II: So hore denn (Baritone, Choir) 03:24
13 Part II: Du ruhmst Dich Deiner Auserwahlten (Baritone, Choir) 05:50
14 Part II: Wisse denn, ich furchte Dich nicht (Baritone, Choir) 06:32
 Siegmund Nimsgern Soloist
 Herbert Kegel Conductor

Boris Blacher’s oratorio, Der Großinquisitor, was only half finished in 1943. Having found himself in truly dire straits, forced to withdraw from musical life thanks to his inclusion on the Nazi register of Jews in music, and hit by a particularly nasty relapse of tuberculosis, it took the friendship and hospitality of his pupil, Gottfried von Einem, to help him regain his health and confidence, and finish the oratorio.

The text is based on Dostoyevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, illustrating Jesus’s return to earth in 16th-century Seville. The depiction of the heretics burned to the glory of God could not be a clearer reflection of the fate of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Distinct from the other works in Blacher’s oeuvre thanks to its seriousness and tonal harmony, Der Großinquisitor also contains elements that are typical of the composer’s style, such as terse rhythms and seemingly aimless melodic lines.

The role of the Inquisitor is sung by German bass-baritone, Siegmund Nimsgern, who has enjoyed an international career as an opera singer, performing with the Royal Opera (London), Metropolitan Opera (New York) and the Vienna State Opera, among others. Alongside him is the Rundfunkchor Leipzig and Dresdner Philharmonie, conducted by Herbert Kegel.


"...the performance quality is excellent. Kegel keeps things moving without unduly pressuring the msic ... The Leipzig Radio Chorus is, in a word, superb, both in blend and (thankfully!) diction. Baritone Nimsgern, who appears only in the second half of the work, sings very well with his dark-timbred voice in his role as the Grand Inquisitor ... an excellent work..."

Lynn René Bayley - Fanfare - November/December 2013

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