Exceptional performances of Graupner cantatas

This release features three cantatas and two overtures by Christoph Graupner. Graupner was a contemporary of Bach, Handel, and Telemann, and their near-equal in talent. He spent most of his career at the court of Hesse-Darmstadt, composing over 1,400 works.

The three cantatas on this release are early works, written between 1714 and 1725. Graupner masterfully sets the text for maximum effect. “Reiner Geist, lass doch mein Herz” (Pure spirit, let my heart become the temple of your dwelling.) has melodies that are as pure and simple as the text suggests.

“Verleih, dass ich aus Herzensgrund” (Provide that I, for reasons of the heart may be able to forgive my enemies.), has a somewhat darker theme, and the music reflects the cloudiness of the narrator’s feelings.

“Ach, Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Ah! God, how many a heartache I encounter at this time) suggest faith can help one rise above troubles. The voice seems to float serenely over the ensemble, with a closing aria that ends triumphantly.

Dorothee Mields sings with a warm, pure tone. Even at its most emotive, her voice is never out of control. Every note seems perfectly formed, and beautifully supported. I think these performances are exceptional and go a long way to towards bringing Graupner back from obscurity.

Christoph Graupner: Lass mein Herz
Cantatas and Overtures
Dorothee Mields, soprano
Harmonie Universelle; Florian Deuter and Mónica Waisman, directors

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