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Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767): "Hoffnung des Wiedersehens - Arias"

Dorothee Mields, sopranoa
L'Orfeo Barockorchester
Dir: Michi Gaigg

rec: March 10 - 12, 2011, Stuttgart, SWR (Funkstudio)
deutsche harmonia mundi - 88697901822 (© 2012) (68'52")
Liner-notes: E/D; lyrics - translations: E
Cover & track-list

Concerto for oboe d'amore, strings and bc in e minor (TWV 51,e2)d; Concerto for violin, strings and bc in D (TWV 22,6)e (for Reinhard Keiser, Nebucadnezar); Die Hoffnung des Wiedersehens, cantata (TWV 20,70)a; Fließen nichts als bitt're Tränen, aria (TWV 22,7)ab (for Reinhard Keiser, Janus); Genung, genung geklaget, aria (TWV 22,8)a (for George Frideric Handel, Richardus I.); Mein Vergnügen wird sich fügen, cantata (TWV 20,18) (Mein Vergnügen wird sich fügen, aria)ac [1]; Omphale, opera [inc] (TWV 21,14) (Die Liebe sieget alle Zeit, aria; Ein tröstendes Hoffen auf freudige Stunden, aria; Kannst du wohl was an mir finden, aria)a; Quillt, ihr überhäuften Zären, aria (TWV 22,13)a (for George Frideric Handel, Almira); Stirbt mein Geist durch dein Verlangen, aria (TWV 22,6)a (for Reinhard Keiser, Nebucadnezar); Vernunft, Geduld und Zeit, aria (TWV 22,6)a (for Reinhard Keiser, Nebucadnezar); Weine nur, gekränkte Seele, aria (TWV 22,8)a (for George Frideric Handel, Richardus I.)

Sources: [1] Sechs Cantaten, 1731

Carin van Heerden, recorder (solob), oboe d'amore (solod); Lisa Keaton-Sommer (soloc), Andreas Sommer, transverse flute; Nikolaus Broda, Rogerio Gonçalves, bassoon; Michi Gaigg, Julia Huber-Warzecha, Martin Jopp (soloe), Sabine Reiter, Martin Kalista, Simone Trefflinger, Petra Samhaber, violin; Lucas Schurig-Breuß, Julia Fiegl, viola; Anja Enderle, cello; Martin Hofinger, double bass; Simon Linné, gallichon, theorbo; Erich Traxler, harpsichord

In 1721 Georg Philipp Telemann entered the service as Director musices of five churches in Hamburg. The next year he was also appointed director of the Oper am Gänsemarkt. In this capacity he was not only responsible for the performance of operas from his own pen, he also restaged operas by other composers, such as his predecessor at the helm of the opera, Reinhard Keiser. This disc sheds light on this aspect of Telemann's activities in Hamburg.

In his liner-notes Christian Moritz-Bauer characterises the programme as a "pasticcio-like story of a love that starts out full of hope but is then unrequited, with disappointment and sadness on the way to final reconciliation". That is summarised by the cantata which is at the heart of this disc and which gave it its title, Die Hoffnung des Wiedersehens. The first aria says: "Sweet hope, if I ask, if my delight is nearby, tell me then a happy 'Yes!'". The second aria begins with the words "Come back, my delight" and the cantata closes with "Soon, oh soon, my beloved, I hope I'll see your face once more!". The three arias are separated by recitatives. As so many pieces by Telemann the scoring is unconventional: apart from strings and bc we hear two bassoons. The recycling of compositions was a common practice in the baroque era, and Telemann was no exception. The first and last arias of this cantata were first included in his opera Germanicus whereas the middle aria first appeared as an instrumental movement in the collection Kleine Cammer-Musik and later reused in his opera Damon.

Telemann's activities in the field of opera are still underexposed, despite the fact that various of his operas have been recorded. The main reason for this is that a large part of his operatic output has been lost. In many cases we only have some arias from operas. This disc includes three arias from Omphale which in the catalogue of Telemann's works is referred to as a Singspiel in five acts. It was written on a libretto by the French author Antoine Houdar de la Motte - who also wrote the libretto for André Campra's L'Europe Galante - which Telemann himself had translated in German. The other arias refer to another common procedure: the composition of arias for restagings of operas by other composers. Three arias were written for performances of operas by Reinhard Keiser. Telemann composed 'Vernunft, Geduld und Zeit' and 'Stirbt mein Geist durch dein Verlangen' for performances of Nebucadnezar and 'Fließen nichts als bitt're Tränen' for Janus. Before his departure to Italy George Frideric Handel also composed several operas for Hamburg. 'Quilt, ihr überhäuften Zähren' was composed for a restaging of his opera Almira. Not only operas by composers from Hamburg were performed. Telemann composed the arias 'Weine nur, gekränkte Seele' and 'Genung, genung geklaget' for performances of Handel's opera Riccardo Primo, re d'Inghilterra which premièred in November 1727 in Haymarket Theatre in London. In Hamburg it was performed in a German translation under the title Richardus I..

Telemann not only contributed vocal items, he also composed instrumental music for performances of operas from another pen. When Keiser's opera Nebucadnezar was restaged, Telemann composed a new overture, in three movements, with a solo part for the violin. It is in fact a full-blood violin concerto, modelled after Vivaldi which he seldom did in his solo concertos. It would have been more logical if this concerto had been ranked among the solo concertos in the catalogue of his works. The opening movement is truly Italian in character, whereas the andante is a beautiful cantabile; the concerto ends with an elegant menuet.

Probably because of the thread of this disc - the "pasticcio-like" love story I referred to above - a concerto for oboe d'amore is included. It is a rather short but nice piece, ironally also in three movements. The disc ends with a repetition of the first movement of the violin concerto/overture with which it started. I would have preferred some additional arias instead.

Dorothee Mields is one of the bright stars of the early music scene. She has made numerous discs, the most of which are excellent. I don't particularly associate her with opera, and I was rather disappointed about her contribution to Telemann's Orpheus (deutsche harmonia mundi, 2011). However, singing single arias from operas is different from performing a complete opera, especially if their dramatic context not known. If one listens to these arias as individual pieces one can only admire Ms Mields's performances which are exquisite and refined. Their content is not dramatic anyway, and that certainly is an important factor. Ms Mields's interpretation is strong in expression, and her ornamentation is stylish. L'Orfeo Barockorchester delivers fine performances as well, with Martin Jopp and Carin van Heerden as distinguished soloists in the concertos.

Every Telemann aficionado should be happy to add this disc to his collection.

Johan van Veen (© 2013)

Relevant links:

L'Orfeo Barockorchester

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