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Review of a Music Recording

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Georg Philipp Telemann ( 1681-1767) found his niche as the Kantor/Kapellmeister of the Johanneum Lateinschule and principal churches in Hamburg, for it gave him the opportunity to compose numerous works in a variety of media, both sacred and secular. During his tenure in this position, from 1721 to his death in 1767, his sacred music out­put encompassed some twenty cycles of cantatas, as well as significant numbers of passions and oratorios and a sprinkling of motets and psalm settings. While in sheer volume his cantata output far out­stripped that of Johann Sebastian Bach, Telemann's reputation in music history classes resides chiefly in his instrumental music, particularly his Tafel musik. Early on, recordings of Telemann's instrumental music have been somewhat plentiful. Attention has now turned to his cantatas, passions, oratorios, and a smattering of operas. This recording of a few of the relatively unknown motets and psalm settings is, therefore, quite a welcome addition to the ever-growing Telemann discography, affording a glimpse into the craftsmanship that characterizes Germany's leading early 18th-century composer.


Copyright © 2005 American Choral Directors Association. Printed with permission. All rights reserved.

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