Notes and Editorial Reviews
Drei sind, die da zeugen im Himmel,
Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis,
. Wie liegt die Stadt so wüste,
Er kam, lobsingt ihm,
Hermann Max, cond; Rheinische Kantorei; Das Kleine Konzert
cpo 777 195 (57:08
Text and Translation)
There was a time when Georg Philipp Telemann was the most difficult cataloging problem in music – so many compositions but no thematic catalog. The discographer in me shied away. But in 1983 Werner Menke compiled a two-volume Telemann Vocal Works Catalog (TVWV), quickly followed by Martin Ruhnke’s three-volume Telemann Works Catalog (TWV) in 1984, 1992, and 1999, which lists only the instrumental works. Brian Robins in another review (30:3) cited TVWV numbers under the other siglum. The TVWV numbers are included in the headnote mainly to suggest how vast the list is. Oddly, considering that most of these works have never been recorded, cpo has already issued another recording of the last cantata (30:3). A late work published in 1759, this Ascension cantata is the setting of an ode by Daniel Schiebeler, employing three trumpets and tympani as well as three flutes. Four soloists each have a movement. This work alone was recorded in 1997.
The other three cantatas, sung in order of composition, appear to be first recordings.
for Trinity Sunday dates from the first cycle of 1711, using no less than six trumpets with tympani and two oboes, setting a poem by Erdmann Neumeister. Three soloists and chorus conclude with a stirring fugal finale.
comes from the third cycle of 1717, using two oboes in a setting of a poem by Neumeister. The German notes identify this only as Reminiscere Sunday (referring to the gospel about the Canaanite woman), but the French translator inserts “Second Sunday of Advent” while the English translator inserts “Second Sunday of Lent.” I have no source to clarify the confusion, since Bach did not provide a cantata for either Sunday and the Tridentine gospel assignments are different. Three soloists and chorus are effective here.
belongs to 1727, a more modest scoring of a poem by J. F. Helbig. The text of the first vocal movement is the beginning of the lamentations of Jeremiah, familiar from Tenebrae. The soloists are treated unequally, arias for the men, recitatives for the women. These three works were recorded at a concert during the 2006 Telemann festival in Magdeburg, an event that began in 1962. Juxtaposing four cantatas so widely spaced during the composer’s life is an excellent display of his achievement. The performances are fine, as we can expect from Max’s ensemble. The soloists from the 1997 session are all different from those in the 2006 concert, the only familiar name being tenor Howard Crook from the earlier group, but they are uniformly accomplished. This is as fine an introduction to Telemann’s cantatas as can be found today.
FANFARE: J. F. Weber
Works on This Recording
Er kam, lobsinget ihm, TV 1 no 462 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Das Kleine Konzert
Written: 1759; Hamburg, Germany
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