WORKS: Cantatas from Harmonischer Gottesdienst: 44, 47, 48, 54, 55, 57 & 64
PERFORMER: Monika Frimmer (soprano), Rufus Müller, Bernhard Hirtreiter (tenor), Gotthold Schwarz (bass); instrumentalists
CATALOGUE NO: 10 797
Telemann’s Harmonischer Gottesdienst was the first annual cycle of church cantatas to be printed for public sale. Initially advertised in Hamburg in October 1725, the 72 cantatas were performed in the city’s principal churches throughout 1726, a shrewd commercial move by Telemann, who stressed their suitability for ‘private domestic and public church devotion’. Certainly the cantatas as published were tailored to domestic use, being scored for solo voice, single obbligato instrument and basso continuo.
Within these constraints, Telemann provides a variety of performance options, which the musicians on this CD exploit to the full. Featuring three bass cantatas and two apiece for soprano and tenor, they deploy flute, oboe, recorder and violin in the obbligato role and vary the continuo instruments too. Though necessarily brief and relatively simple, the cantatas are also lively, charming and offer much felicitous detail in terms of tone-painting and similar expressive touches. They are also sympathetically performed here by a team of artists who have already released two earlier sets of cantatas from the same cycle. Graham Lock