Three Cantatas

G. P. Telemann

Editor: Edited by Cedric Lee with Belinda Paul

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

Ref. no Tel 1 (in 'cantatas')                cover page      To order:     

  • 1. Gott weiss! ich bin von seufzen müde, for voice, 2 recorders (played at an octave) and continuo
  • 2. Ach, sele, hungre, dürste, for voice, 2 recorders, and continuo
  • 3. Da, Jesu, deinen ruhm zu mehren, for voice, recorder, oboe and continuo

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.