Der Tod Jesu.
Dorothee Mields, Britta Schwarz,
Jan Kobow, Klaus Mertens. Magdeburger Kammerchor Telemann Kammerorchester
Michaelstein Ludger Remy.
CPO 999-720-2 76m
Once again, I am quite happy to review a new disc of a work by Telemann whose
output of music is rather abreast with the more popular Bach but who is
consistently overshadowed in favour of the great master. 'Der Tod Jesu' is
rather similar to the St John Passion in its reflective thematic inspiration
and absence of bombastic religious statements. The scoring makes very effective
use of the wind instruments, especially the oboe d'amore which was indeed
one of Telemann's favourite instruments. Ludger Remy's soloists are solid
in the best German tradition with Dorothee Mields leaving a particularly
good impression. As one can read from the extensive notes, 'Der Tod Jesu'
had a long gestation period and the end product sums up various influences
on Telemann's music but which are always used to good effect especially the
Bach-like parts in the chorales that are quite plentiful. Remy's orchestra
play with a good deal of involvement and the splendidly clear recording is
an ideal window on the proceedings going on. Whilst I cannot say that this
oratorio is better than Telemann's infinitely more illustrious counterpart,
it is a good example of the work going on in Germany at that time. It is
thus recommended for the various reasons listed above.
See also review by Peter Woolf