When the cantor Johann Sebastian Bach performed sacred cantatas in Leipzig on Sundays and public holidays, his colleagues did the same in many other places in Lutheran Germany. Among them was Christoph Graupner, the court conductor of Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1709, the music-loving Landgraf Ernst Ludwig from Darmstadt had discovered him as a harpsichordist at the Hamburg Opera in 1709 and had hired him on the spot.
The Landgraf had made a real stroke of luck with Graupner, because he was not only an outstanding musician but also a perfect organizer of the courtly musical life and especially for the church music which had to be performed weekly. Over the years, more than 1,400 works of sacred music and many concertos and orchestral works have gathered from his pen and paper.
Dorothee Mields and Harmonie Universelle have put together an exquisite selection from this repertoire for the present CD: three cantatas from Graupner’s early years as kapellmeister, complemented by two orchestral works. All three cantatas contain “Herz” [heart] as a central theme and Graupner has put the sacred texts into music with a never-ending fantasy.