Telemann Inauguration Cantatas interesting sidelights

This release features three cantatas, Georg Philipp Telemann. All were written to mark special occasions. Two were in Hamburg, where Telemann served from 1721 to 1767. One was for the neighboring town of Altona, which didn’t have a resident composer.

Altona’s 1744 cantata Geschlagene Pauken, auf was inauguration music for a new school. The music is somewhat simple and direct, suggesting perhaps the skills of the musicians available. The work’s an uplifting celebration that opens with brass and tympani flourishes.

Kommt, lasset uns anbeten, (Come, let us worship) marks the1745 establishment of a hospital. The Biblical text lends itself to word-painting, and Telemann doesn’t disappoint. This work closely resembles Telemann’s sacred cantatas, though perhaps not quite as complex.

Laetare iuvenis in iuventute tua (Happy young man in his youth!) rounds out the release. It’s a graduation piece, completed in 1758. Telemann places few demands on the voices –save that they blend well.

And these voices do. Hanna Zumsande, Alon Harari, Mirko Ludwig, and Fabian Kuhnen have a remarkable blend. Their voices compliment each other, making their ensemble singing sound both rich and clean.

The barockwerk hamburg has a nice sound, too. It’s has a soft quality to it I think appropriate for gut-stringed instruments. Yet there’s enough focus for all the notes to be clearly heard — an asset in contrapuntal passages.

These three works are interesting sidelights to Telemann’s catalog. I enjoyed hearing them.

Georg Philipp Telemann
Kommt, lasset uns anbeten
Inauguration Cantatas for Hamburg and Altona
Hanna Zumsande, soprano; Alon Harari, alto; Mirko Ludwig, tenor; Fabian Kuhnen, bass
barockwerk hamburg; Ira Hochman, director
CPO 555 255–2

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