JS Bach, Telemann, Hoffmann - Sacred Cantatas For Alto And For Tenor

Published Wednesday 2nd August 2006
JS Bach, Telemann, Hoffmann - Sacred Cantatas For Alto And For Tenor
JS Bach, Telemann, Hoffmann - Sacred Cantatas For Alto And For Tenor

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 19713-
LABEL: Naxos Vocal Music 8557615
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RRP: £5.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Once upon a time there were no photocopiers so busy Kapellmeisters had to copy out material they liked by hand. If this music ended up in a cupboard with the composer's own work it is unsurprising that later musicians assumed that everything was by the same composer. Here we have two pieces by Johann Sebastian and two by his contemporaries Melchior Hoffmann and Georg Philipp Telemann. The non-Bach pieces were once thought to be by the great man and were assigned Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV) numbers so we have Hoffmann's "Meine Seele Rühmt Und Preist" (BWV 189) and Telemann's "Ich weiB, daB Mein Erlöser Lebt" (BWV 160) as well as the authentic "Geist Und Seele Wird Verwirret" (BWV 35) and "Ich Armer Mensch, Ich Sündenknecht" (BWV 55). Bach's cantatas defy a generalised description such is their variety and technical mastery. "Cantata 35" includes two instrumental "Sinfonias" almost transformed into organ concerto movements. In "Cantata 55" a solo flute weaves itself around the vocal line. The two cantatas formerly attributed to Bach are also distinctive for their delightful instrumentation. The alto Marianne Beate Kielland sings the first Bach cantata and is outstanding. The other three are performed by the tenor Markus Schäfer who is technically competent although, for this reviewer, not as pleasing to the ear.

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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