Kammerchor Michaelstein: Rolle – 31 Motets

review rolle x1 cong

Rolle was described by a contemporary as benevolent, moderate and with good breeding, and his personality is reflected in his music; it is these qualities that presumably made his music so popular during his lifetime. He was born in 1715 and died in 1785, but by 1825 he had been largely forgotten. He composed his first sacred works at 13 and it is thought he wrote around 100 motets (a motet is a short piece of sacred music).
This is an enjoyable and relaxing album; the motets are gentle and delicate — well-bred would be the phrase — and by definition short, with four voice settings and using text drawn from the Bible — usually Psalms but the odd hymn.
They are diverse enough to hold the interest across both CDs. We would guess that for serious scholars of such music, it is perhaps a little too populist, which might explain — apart from changes in taste — why he was so popular while alive but so forgotten today.
CPO: 777778-2

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