Hamburg marked an important year in its history in 1762. The city’s large
St. Michael’s Church had been destroyed by fire in 1760, and two years
later the magnificent new Baroque structure (as yet without a tower) was
dedicated. This event was celebrated as an official state ceremony, and of
course Georg Philipp Telemann, the city’s music director, who by then was
eighty-one years old, had to supply the music for it. Aware of the great
importance of this event, he produced one of his most magnificent and most
expressive scores with an ensemble including six double-choral trumpets and
timpani. He wrote Der Tag des Gerichts, the great oratorio of his old age,
during the same year, and his dedication music is situated on this same
high musical level. Freshly edited by the great Handel and Telemann
researcher Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschmann, it can now be experienced on CD.
After our discovery of some Christmas oratorios by Telemann last month (),
we are now presenting yet another outstanding composition that even today,
more than two hundred years after the event celebrated in Hamburg,
justifies a timeless interest in the dedication.