Telemann: Latin Sacred Works

Allabastrina Choir & Consort, Elena Sartori
Christophorus CHR 77414
Deus judicium tuum, Laudate Jehovam omnes gentes, Magnificat  + two concertos arr. Walther

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] quite enjoy inviting people to identify the composer of music I happen to be listening to when they visit; I fear I would not do particularly well if the present CD was randomly played to me. Of course, familiarity with Telemann’s vast output has taught me that he is something of a musical chameleon, but here he excels himself – where director Elena Sartori hears pre-echoes of Mozart in the brief setting of Laudate Jehovam omnes gentes, I had gone a generation earlier in Italy… The booklet claims Deus judicium tuum  is closer to Rameau and Lully than the composer’s German cantatas, but – when good quality recordings of the latter are so sparse – I wonder how valid that point is. Similarly, the use of trumpets in the Magnificat  points to J. S. Bach in Leipzig… Really? Trumpets weren’t used throughout Germany on any festive occasion? While there are some interesting moments on the recording (the bass duet with trumpets and drums in the Magnificat, for example), I’m afraid there are also weaknesses; the singing is a little fruity in places (and too much thought went into the phrasing of Track 3, for sure!) I sincerely hope that it will persuade others to explore Telemann’s larger scale church music (in whatever language).

Brian Clark

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