WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Telemann: Kapitansmusik 1738 / Max, Rheinische Kantorei

Telemann / Samuelis / Rheinische Kantorei / Max
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777386-2   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Ekkehard AbeleJan KobowVeronika WinterImmo Schröder,   ... 
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 8 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Telemann impresses once again with this Kapitänsmusik - the various characters are perfectly portrayed.

One of the many duties of Georg Philipp Telemann as Musikdirektor in Hamburg was the composition of the Kapitänsmusik. This was to be performed every year during the convivium, the festive banquet of the sixty-seven members of the officer corps of the civic guard. This event took place on the first Thursday after St Bartholomew's Day (24 August). The Kapitänsmusik consisted of two parts. It started with an oratorio which was performed during the midday meal; the serenata was played in the evening. Telemann composed 36 such works, of which only nine have survived.
Read more
In the (sacred) oratorio the many blessings of Hamburg are spelled out, mostly by a character called Hammonia (Hamburg). She calls on the citizens to praise God for his blessings. Here this is expressed, for instance, in a chorus of Hammonia with her children: "Holy being, you source of good, blessing and prosperity issue forth from you. You make sure that Hamburg's wall forever stand. Take from us the thanks for this." Various allegorical characters turn up which declare their bond with the city: Die Andacht (Devotion), Die Gerechtigkeit (Justice), Die Wahrheit (Truth) and Das Vertrauen (Trust). As in most such pieces there is an opposing character: Die Unachtsamkeit (Negligence). He acknowledges that there is much to enjoy in Hamburg, but for him the blessings are rather the earthly pleasures, like food and drink: "I look forward to the oyster season". He doesn't want to waste any time thinking about "the source of the blessing and its surplus". The other characters react with abhorrence, as Negligence "forgets that our God is the origin of good", as Devotion says. Hammonia then says he should "avoid my domain". The oratorio ends with the last stanza from the hymn 'Herr Gott, wir danken dir' (Johann Franck, 1618-1677).

The serenata is quite dramatic. This is to be expected because Telemann was a successful opera composer; from 1722 until its closure in 1738 he was the director of the Oper am Gänsemarkt. But this serenata is more dramatic than those in other Kapitänsmusiken in that its central subject is war. There was a historical reason for that. Hamburg was part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, and its emperor, Charles VI, had been involved in a war against the Ottoman empire since 1737. Although Hamburg was not directly struck by the war, it was part of the empire and therefore involved in the conflict. The serenata begins with a 'Chorus of the Heroes' in the form of a battaglia: "The drum calls with rolling beats, the mortars roar, the swords flash - this brings joy to our brave hearts". The warriors are encouraged by Der Kriegsgeist (The Spirit of War), the Elbe asks the shepherds to end their joy and "lay down your gentle flutes". It is then Die Zaghaftigkeit (Timidity) who describes the horrors of the war: "My heart beats in my horrified breast to think of the ominous gloom of signs of misfortune. (...) O who, who will save us from ruin?" Then Der Friede (Peace) enters and declares that "I am the one who watches over you". This gives Timidity new strength.

In the last part of the serenata the enemy is specifically mentioned. The Spirit of War says: "The eagle leads the legions before Istanbul's now horrified gate. He displays in sharpened talons, the sword drawn for Turkish ruin". He is encouraged by the Elbe: "Go, let German courage accustom the wild Saracens even more to servitude". This is followed by an aria which has again the form of a battaglia. As in the oratorio there is an opposing character. This time it is Der Neid (Envy) which expresses his "pleasure in Germany's misfortune". "I even see now with happy eyes the whole burden and your demise coming". But then Der Schutzgeist Deutschlands (Germany's Guardian Spirit) turns up and declares: "Germany is loved by heaven itself. Up, heroes, up to the fight". The serenata ends with a chorus: "Germany's glory shall always stand, and your happy prosperity, Hamburg/Schwerin, is ordained by God".

Considering that Germany was no political unity, but a patchwork of largely independent territories the use of the term 'Germany' is remarkable. It was hardly used in those days, and in his liner-notes Eckart Kleßman sees it as an expression of the wish "to put an end to the notorious threat posed to the practically defenseless German states, to strengthen their self-confidence, and to reinforce this self-confidence with military security". Whatever the reason may be, this aspect and the pronounced treatment of the subject of war makes this Kapitänsmusik rather unique in this part of Telemann's oeuvre.

One of the dramatic features of the serenata is the representation of the various characters. In particular The Spirit of War and Timidity are remarkable, as well as Envy. The characteristics of these protagonists are impressively explored by the various singers. In the oratorio it is the role of Negligence which attracts attention. Here Immo Schröder shines in his humorous portrayal of this character. Veronika Winter gives an immaculate performance of the role of Hammonia. As Germany's Guardian Spirit she sings the last aria of this work, 'Ergreifet den Degen' (Grip the sword) which is quite virtuosic. But most arias are pitched at a considerable technical level, and Telemann again shows his creative spirit, not only in the vocal parts but also in the instrumental score.

This Kapitänsmusik was first performed in modern times in 1965 in the former GDR, but its text had to be changed in many respects, for political reasons. Therefore the live performance in 2007 in Knechtsteden which was recorded by the German classical channel WDR Cologne and released by CPO, is the work's first modern performance in its original state. Hermann Max and all other participants deserve our gratitude for bringing this very fine piece of music to our attention. I am looking forward to the Kapitänsmusiken which are still waiting to be recorded.

-- Johan van Veen, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TV 15 no 11 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Ekkehard Abele (), Jan Kobow (), Veronika Winter (),
Immo Schröder (), Cornelia Samuelis (), Gregor Finke ()
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; Germany 
Venue:  Knechtsteden, Klosterbasilika 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
2.
Es locket die Trommel mit wirbelnden, serenata for 5-part chorus, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horn by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performer:  Ekkehard Abele (), Veronika Winter (), Cornelia Samuelis (),
Gregor Finke (), Jan Kobow (), Immo Schröder ()
Conductor:  Hermann Max
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738 
Venue:  Knechtsteden, Klosterbasilika 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Wohl dem Volke (Hammonia, Vertrauen, Gerechtigkeit, Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Mit nimmersatter Lust und Achtsamkeit (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Stimmt in unsre frohen Lieder (Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Der reiche Segen lauft in meinen Hafen ein (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Freue dich an diesem Tage (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Doch, da sich Gluck und Wohl ... (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Heiliges Wesen (Hammonia, Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Jawohl, Hammonia (Andacht)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Kann dies wohl ein Mensch erwagen (Andacht)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Nein, Freundin, nein, nein (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Licht des Lebens (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Hammonia, so recht ... (Andacht, Gerechtigkeit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Im Gertichte soll mein gottlich's Gewichte ... (Gerechtigkeit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: O wahres Gluck fur mich (Wahrheit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Mein Blitz durchdringet Wahn und Lugen (Hammonia, Wahrheit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Ja, Freundin, steh mir bei (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Eintracht, Ruhe, Fried und Segen (Vertrauen)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: O Gluck fur mich (Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Ein ewiges Verbinden verknupfet uns an deinem Staat (Andacht, Gerechtigkeit, Wahrheit, Vertrauen)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: O Hamburg, merke doch ... (Andacht, Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Herr mein Gott (Hammonia, Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Hammonia, verzeihe meine frage (Unachtsamkeit, Hammonia)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Was hab ich notig zu erwagen (Unachtsamkeit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: O Himmel! Dieses ist die Unempfindliche (Andacht, Hammonia, Unachtsamkeit, Vertrauen)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Herr Gott, wir danken dir (Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Es locket die Trommel mit wirbelnden Schlagen (Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: So recht, ihr unerschrocknen Sohne (Kriegsgeist)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Ein heller Strahl aus den entwichnen Zeiten (Kriegsgeist)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Da capo
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: O weh! (Elbe)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Schafer, stellt die Freuden ein (Elbe)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Was fur ein Angstschrei ... (Zaghaftigkeit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Verberget den Vorrat (Zaghaftigkeit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Verzagte, seht, ich bins, der euch bewacht! (Friede)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Ihr suchet euner ganzes Gluck in meinem Schutz (Friede)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Des Friedens Zuspruch ... (Zaghaftigkeit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Dein Heldenmut sucht stets durch Blut (Zaghaftigkeit)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Nein, stelle deinen Kummer ein (Friede, Kriegsgiest)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Der Adler fuhrt die Legionen (Kriegsgeist)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Wohlan, so geh (Die Elbe)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Auf, ruhret die Trommel (Elbe, Friede, Kriegsgeist)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Ja ja, dies soll doch wohl geschehen (Neid)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Ja, es muss dein Fall erscheinen (Neid)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Schweig, wahnwitzvoller Neid (Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Ihr Deutschen, auf! (Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Die Tapferkeit begeistert Herz (Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Aria: Ergreifet den Degen (Chorus)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Recitative: Und du, Hammonia, hor hier des Schicksals Willen (Friede)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Deuschlands Ruhm soll ewig stehen (All)
Wohl dem Volke, des der Herr sein Gott ist, TWV 15:11a: Schliesset die Kette der Einigkeit feste (All)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In