Bach / Telemann: Cantatas for Baritone

Floral design

Christoph Prégardien, Vox Orchester, Lorenzo Ghirlanda
dhm 1 90758 34122 4
BWV56, TWV 1: 983 & 1510, plus movements from instrumental music by Fasch, Handel & Telemann

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ike any good actor at the height of their game, a good singer will inhabit and project their role with an intensity and intuitive understanding. This is what we encounter here, people at the very top of their game! Even before you hear a single note you can feel the care and attention in the overall presentation.

Christoph Prégardien and the incredibly fluent and reactive Vox orchester respond to these chosen works with consummate skill. These specially selected Passiontide cantatas by Telemann exude and suit the pathos and drama of this period. Interestingly, they match the composer’s own vocal range around his Frankfurt tenure (1712-1721) – we know this from his letter of application for the Kapellmeister post, where he speaks of his voice being “between a tenor and a bass… normally called a baritone”. If you missed Klaus Mertens on CPO back in 2009, and recently Philippe Jaroussky singing Telemann and Bach on Erato, then this recording will allow a partial revisit. The two disembodied “Ouvertures” by Fasch and Telemann left me wishing I could hear the whole works, and perhaps a Bach Sinfonia might have replaced the Handel? All in all, though, this is a quite superlative recording that meets the desires and wishes of any Baroquophile on the quest for excellence. The booklet notes by one of the fine oboists reveal how the career paths and musico-aesthetic orbits of these great composers crossed and intersected at given times. The music simply washes over you with a purity and quality many seek to match.

David Bellinger

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