G. P. Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) was the archetypal eighteenth-century polymath—linguist, diplomat, businessman and publisher, as well as one of the foremost composers of his age. He died prosperous and famous  - he made a substantial profit on his publications - and, remarkably for a man of such overt ambition, extraordinarily popular. He died contented, loved and universally respected by his contemporaries.

Tel 1

Three Cantatas

for voice (d'-e'') woodwind (or violins) and continuo

Cedric Lee with Belinda Paul

1. Gott weiss! ich bin von seufzen müde for voice, 2 recorders (played at an octave) and continuo

2. Ach, sele, hungre, dürste, for voices, 2 recorders, and continuo

3. Da, Jesu, deinen ruhm zu mehren, for voice recoder and oboe and continuo

Price: £ 13.25

1. Gott weiss! ich bin von seufzen müde

2. Ach, sele, hungre, dürste,

3. Da, Jesu, deinen ruhm zu mehren

The source for this edition is the Forsetzung des Harmonischen Gottesdienstes 1731-2, published by Telemann himself in Hamburg. The three cantatas of this edition are presented as church cantatas – each is assigned to a particular Sunday. The first is for the third Sunday after Epiphany. However, on the title page of Der Harmonischer Gottesdienst of 1725-26 it is made plain that these ‘Geistliche Cantaten’ are intended for private or domestic use, as well as for church.

The first of the three short cantatas offered here – Gott Weiss! Ich bin von seufzen müde – “God knows I am weary of my groaning” is modelled on one of the ‘psalms of lament’: indeed the first two lines are taken almost word for word from Psalm 6: v6 “I am weary of my groaning; every night wash I my bed: and water my couch with my tears.”

Like the first cantata,the text of Ach, Seele, hungre, dürste, lechze (O soul, starve, thirst, crave) is an upbeat, optimistic work in which the listener is encouraged to reject the fleeting pleasure of a worldly life in return for an eternity spent feasting at the Lord’s table.

The third work offered here is Da, Jesu, deinen ruhm zu mehren (“Thus, Jesus, to the increase of your glory”). It a persuasive exhortation to the worship and glorification of the Lord, with emphasis on the use of our “treasures” of voice, of mouth and tongue.

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