Brilliant Telemann choral cantata and Paris psalm setting
Frank T. Manheim | Fairfax VA | 12/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Donner-Ode is one of Telemann's late, powerful choral-orchestral works,in this case a commemoration of the destructive Lisbon earthquake of 1755. It begins with a brilliant trumpet - tympani- accompanied fanfare, and contains much inspired writing in a style more advanced than we know from the earlier "concerto - chamber" Telemann. Perhaps the tympani (rare in choral works) are meant to evoke the earthquake. People who may have looked at my other Telemann reviews know that I favor the full-blooded "living tradition" baroque style rather than period performance. However, although the instrumental performance favors the latter, I forgive everything because of the marvelous choir and soloists, especially the ravishingly pure-voiced Catherine Denley. The choral-orchestral psalm setting, Deus judicium tuum, was written during Telemann's Paris visit in 1737. It is written in a French-influenced style with a highly varied mixture of full instrumental accompaniment with graceful smaller instrumental complements (e.g. two flutes and bass) to vocal solos. Not to deny J.S. Bach's magnificent gifts, Bach's writing for chorus has been historically criticized because of his "instrumental" way of writing for vocal choruses. Contrast Telemann's skill at writing for both voices and instruments. A real pleasure, worth hearing many times. Program notes are also articulate and informative."