Telemann: Cantata No. 5, 35, 42, 48 & 67 from Fortsetzung des Harmonischen Gottesdienstes; Fugues, TWV 30/6, 8, 13 & 20

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COMPOSERS: Telemann
LABELS: CPO
WORKS: Cantata No. 5, 35, 42, 48 & 67 from Fortsetzung des Harmonischen Gottesdienstes; Fugues, TWV 30/6, 8, 13 & 20
PERFORMER: Ruth Ziesak (soprano); Camerata Köln
CATALOGUE NO: 999 764-2
These five cantatas are from Telemann’s second big collection covering a whole year’s worth of Sundays and church festivals. Each cantata recorded here presents a sandwich of two arias with a recitative, like a short sermon, as its filling. They were designed flexibly, either for larger forces with tutti and solo contrasts, or for one-to-a-part domestic performance. With about 1,400 extant cantatas to his name, Telemann’s level of invention is as truly astonishing as the quality of his musical craftsmanship. Furthermore, all these cantatas are new to the current catalogue, a feast of fresh delights. Although the singer is common to all cantatas – and very fluent and expressively versatile she is – the trios of obbligato instruments are all different. Violin and cello vividly paint ‘hell’s flames’ in the first, where Ruth Ziesak articulates superbly across a wide range. Her vocal colour is strikingly different at each extreme, though the studio recording occasionally makes a silvery quality gleam a touch too brightly; a more spacious ambience might soften it. So, too, the oboe, once with recorder, elsewhere with transverse flute, is a touch dry. Two flutes, though, are endearingly limpid, with Ziesak subtly dipping her tone in two heartfelt arias of pathos. Brief organ fugues on a charming chamber instrument provide effective interludes between the cantatas. George Pratt

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