Opulent and imaginative Telemann oratorios
In the church year 1730/31, Telemann performed a volume of special conception: Regular oratorios were to be heard in the church service. And so the focus of our latest Telemann CD is his magnificent oratorio for the feast of St. John, Gelobet sei der Herr, with expressive texts by the poet and musician Albrecht Jacob Zell. Zell succeeds in imagining dramatic, almost theatrical scenes, thus providing Telemann with models for tone-painting. Not only is the vocal cast extremely lush, including three basses, but the instrumentation is also very rich, including the use of four horns and three transverse flutes. Once again, Telemann unfolds a wide range of expression. The lament of the Egyptians over the slain children, in F minor and chromatic turns, is moving; the depiction of the fleeing people and their pursuers, who cannot reach them, is full of external movement and tension, with chains of sixteenth notes on the one hand and syllabic declamation on the other.