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Telemann: Late Cantatas / Rémy, Collegium Michaelstein


Release Date: 07/25/2006 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777064   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Dorothee MieldsKnut SchochEkkehard AbeleElisabeth Graf
Conductor:  Ludger Rémy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michaelstein Chamber ChoirMichaelstein Telemannisches Collegium
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These cantatas are all products of Telemann’s prodigious final years, dating from 1759 in the case of the first and third, while the second listed was composed in 1762, the year in which the grand old man reached the age of 81. The cantata for Pentecost, Komm Geist des Herrn, is a large-scale work lavishly scored for three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, and strings. The vocal disposition is the usual SATB soloists and choir (in Telemann’s own performances probably one and the same, as with Bach). The cantata is centered round a chorale parody of Luther’s hymn Komm heilger Geist by one of Telemann’s favorite poets, Friedrich Klopstock. This striking example of Telemann’s modernity apparently upset the most conservative of Hamburg’s pastors, Read more whose complaints to the city council sparked off a row in which the composer vigorously defended himself against orders to reinstate Luther’s original text. Anyone reading Klopstock’s fine verse today will wonder what the fuss was about, but the story provides a salutary reminder that clashes between conservatism and “progress” are nothing new. The predominantly joyous character of the cantata is immediately set by the invigorating opening trumpet and drum aria for bass (sung by Ekkehard Abele with resounding authority), its dynamic further enhanced by the thrusting little ornamental figures in the strings. But perhaps the most impressive movement is an accompagnato for tenor, a vivid description of Christ’s spirit manifested in the sudden swirling wind, depicted first by furious scales, then by more gentle rustling figuration. This, along with other imitative effects, is Telemann as the forerunner of the Haydn of The Creation and The Seasons.

Kaum wag ich es is a considerably more modest work, designated simply “church music” and intended for the 19th Sunday after Trinity. Scored for the same vocal forces as Komm Geist, the orchestration calls for only strings. The text is an ode, Die Begnadigung (“The Pardon”), by Joachim Eschenburg, one of the younger poets encouraged by Telemann. It takes as its theme the dark night of the sinner’s soul redeemed by God’s forgiveness, thus being linked to the Epistle for the day (Ephesians 4:17-32), a detail that might have been mentioned by the otherwise profuse booklet notes. Telemann set all six stanzas, treating the first and last as chorales framing short, through-composed arias. The arias chart a progress from the pain of sin (alto), underpinned by an accompaniment of sliding chromatic strings and sharply etched stabbing figures, through remorse, a cantabile aria for tenor supported by expressive string arpeggiations, agitation at the approach of Christ (soprano), and finally to the forgiving words of Jesus.

The final “cantata”—scored for the same forces as the Pentecost cantata with the addition of a pair of flutes—has a text by another young Hamburg poet, Daniel Schiebeler, and is also described as Kirchemusik. Er kam, lobsingt ihm; it follows a similar format to the preceding work, an ode with six stanzas, all but the last of which is a solo. The text for Ascension Day is not only concerned with the risen Christ but also is a retrospective comment on His suffering in death. As in Kaum wag ich es, the care with which Telemann sets this vividly descriptive text is remarkable, achieving in the process a synthesis between words and music of a kind for which one has to look back to the 17th century for models.

Little comment is needed at this late stage on Ludger Rémy’s unfailingly stylish and idiomatic way with Telemann’s music, except to say the alto Elisabeth Graf’s unusually masculine sounding alto is less to my taste than the other soloists, all familiar Rémy regulars. Her diction, too, seems less incisive than that of her colleagues. The engineering is well in line with cpo’s usual high standards, but the poor playing time earns a black mark. The radical manner in which Telemann carried the church cantata forward after Bach’s death is an aspect of his music still scarcely recognized. This outstanding release sheds revealing light on the subject.

FANFARE: Brian Robins
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Works on This Recording

1. Komm, Geist des Herrn, TV 1 no 999 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Dorothee Mields (Soprano), Knut Schoch (Tenor), Ekkehard Abele (Bass),
Elisabeth Graf (Alto)
Conductor:  Ludger Rémy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michaelstein Chamber Choir,  Michaelstein Telemannisches Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1759; Hamburg, Germany 
Venue:  St. Bonifatius Church, Ditfurt, Germany 
Length: 24 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: St. Bonifatius Church, Ditfurt, Germany (08/28/2004 - 09/04/2004) 
2. Kaum wag ich es, TV 1 no 992 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Dorothee Mields (Soprano), Elisabeth Graf (Alto), Knut Schoch (Tenor),
Ekkehard Abele (Bass)
Conductor:  Ludger Rémy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michaelstein Chamber Choir,  Michaelstein Telemannisches Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1762; Hamburg, Germany 
Venue:  St. Bonifatius Church, Ditfurt, Germany 
Length: 11 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: St. Bonifatius Church, Ditfurt, Germany (08/28/2004 - 09/04/2004) 
3. Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TV 1 no 462 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Dorothee Mields (Soprano), Elisabeth Graf (Alto), Knut Schoch (Tenor),
Ekkehard Abele (Bass)
Conductor:  Ludger Rémy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Michaelstein Chamber Choir,  Michaelstein Telemannisches Collegium
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1759; Hamburg, Germany 
Venue:  St. Bonifatius Church, Ditfurt, Germany 
Length: 15 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: St. Bonifatius Church, Ditfurt, Germany (08/28/2004 - 09/04/2004) 

Sound Samples

Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Aria: Komm, Geist des Herrn (Bass)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Chorale: Komm, heiliger Geist, Troster Gott! (Chorus)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Accompagnato: Noch sahen sie, voll innrer Scherzen (Tenor)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Dictum: Wir haben acuh einen kindlichen Geist empfangen (Chorus)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Recitative: O susser Trost fur Sunder (Alto)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Aria: Du, Geist des Herrn! (Soprano)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Chorale: Du heiliges Licht! (Chorus)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Recitative: So starke mich (Bass)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Duet: Du Quell der Hoffnung und der Freuden (Alto, Tenor)
Komm, Geist des Herrn, TWV 1:999: Chorale: Du heilige Ruh! (Chorus)
Kaum wag ich es, TWV 1:992: Chorale: Kaum wag ich es, dir Richter mich zu nahen (Chorus)
Kaum wag ich es, TWV 1:992: Aria: Du kennest sie, die unglucksvollen Pfade (Alto)
Kaum wag ich es, TWV 1:992: Aria: Noch lieg ich so (Tenor)
Kaum wag ich es, TWV 1:992: Aria: Wie wird mir itzt (Soprano)
Kaum wag ich es, TWV 1:992: Aria: Verzweifle nicht, o Sunder (Bass)
Kaum wag ich es, TWV 1:992: Chorale: Erloser wie? (Chorus)
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TWV, 1:462: Er kam, lobsinget ihm (Bass)
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TWV, 1:462: Sie hassten ihn (Alto)
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TWV, 1:462: Doch nicht auf ewig (Tenor)
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TWV, 1:462: Itzt steigt er (Soprano)
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TWV, 1:462: Die aufgehabnen Donnerkeile (Bass)
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TWV, 1:462: Wenn dann die Stern' erbleichend stehen (Chorus)
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TWV, 1:462: Chorale: Du fahrest, Jesu, himmelauf (Chorus)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The more I listen.... The more I appreciate Telem July 10, 2012 By Clifford H C. (Thompson, MB) See All My Reviews "It is remarkable that more of Telemann's Cantata's are not recorded. The quality of the work is remarkable and Remy is as excellent as usual. These are late cantatas and you can feel the movement away from the Baroque hard coded formats. Much of the music is sung in free verse arioso (Da capo form seems to be purposely avoided). The performances are top notch and each cantata has its share of musical gems. TWV001-462-Er kam, lobsingt ihm has an amazing Alto Aria - "Sie haßter ihn" and the Soprano Aria - "Itzt steigt er". But the real star of this cantata is the orchestra. It's constant movement, colour and innovation is impressive. The real highlight is the Chorus - Wenn dann die Stern'erblechend stehen. This piece of music never settles, cresting like a wave hitting a rocky shore (absolutely chilling in effect). I had to repeat the track three times on the first play of the CD. An absolutely remarkable image of the end of the universe and last judgement. TWV001-992-Kaum Wag ich es seem insubstantial compared to the other cantatas on this recording until you follow the word book with the performance. This has the best synthesis of music and poetry that Telemann ever achieved. The Tenor Aria - "Nach lieg ich so" is so desolate, lost and forlorn (Striking at the heart of Lutheran Theology) it makes your insides quake for salvation until the soprano shows the way to redemption. Stunning and forceful.... TWV001-999-Komm, Geist des Herrn is the largest and most substatial cantata of the group. It starts with a wonderful Bass Aria "Komm, Geist des Herrn" by Ekkehard Abele. This cantata is wonderfully unconventional and conventional at the same time. In its day it must have confounded audiences and raised the hackles of conservatives. The Soprano Aria "Du, Geist des Herrn" follows the Da Capo format with some wonderful twists and turns by Dorothee Mields. This aria can only be described as restained and elegant. The Duet for Alto and Tenor with its punches of drums and trumpet can't be ignored... but I had to listen several times to learn to appreciate this movement. Overall an excellent addition to my Telemann Collection..." Report Abuse
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