Telemann’s Luther Cantatas
Georg Philipp Telemann, whose ancestors had been Lutheran ministers for many generations was himself a staunch Lutheran. The texts selected by him for his sacred music attest to his interest not only in poetic excellence but also in content and interpretive quality. Many of the texts set by him were penned by Lutheran ministers, including Erdmann Neumeister, one of the most famous sacred poets of his time, with whom he collaborated closely for many years.
Telemann dealt very conscientiously with the multilayered texture of the sacred hymn in its function as a vehicle of articles of faith in poetic form and with what were often classical melodies.
Accordingly, hymns charged with symbolic meaning by Luther and from the Reformation played an important role in his oeuvre. Some examples are heard in our selected cantatas – recorded here for the first time. And of course Luther’s »greatest hit« is among them: Telemann framed »Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott« (A mighty fortress is our God) with timpani and trumpets in his cantata »Wertes Zion, sei getröst.«