Carl Heinrich Graun - Der Tod Jesu - Passion Cantata

Friday 5th March 2004
Carl Heinrich Graun - Der Tod Jesu - Passion Cantata
Carl Heinrich Graun - Der Tod Jesu - Passion Cantata

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Hyperion CDA67446
RRP: £14.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Even in our ungodly times there will be many performances of Handel’s Messiah and the different settings of the Passion by Bach but Graun’s version of the story will almost certainly not feature. He was a younger contemporary of Johann Sebastian and in his day Graun was one of the best-known exponents of Italian opera in Germany. Perhaps this explains why Graun has dropped out of use: he is too light, too melodic. If he had written a Resurrection Cantata in this style we would rejoice with him but as a retelling of the death of Jesus it does not quite fit. However, for those prepared to take a chance, this is a rewarding performance. The conductor is Sigiswald Kuijken and his four soloists together with La Petite Bande and Ex Tempore do full justice to the work. Given that Hyperion have released this double CD at the same price as a single it is well worth investigating.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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