Georg Philipp Telemann: Michaelis Oratorium

review georg telemann x1 cong

This review is a little late but hopefully someone who wants festive music that’s not too heavy or cliched will find it ideal.

It’s the music for the opening of St Michael’s Church, Hamburg, in 1762, which was destroyed by fire in 1760. It was a big ceremony and of course Telemann, Hamburg’s director of music, did the music.

So it’s atmospheric music on a grand scale, but also aimed at an audience who were a cross-section of the great and good, and probably wanted to get on to the sherry reception. It’s an imposing yet not unapproachable score, for an ensemble including six double-choral trumpets and timpani, and, of course, it’s timeless.

This is out now on CPO 555214-2; nice Christmas (or any other time of year) music. The musicians are the Kölner Akademie, with Rahel Maas, Marian Dijkhuizen, Julian Podgr, Klaus Mertens, Mauro Borgioni, and Michael Alexander Willens (conductor).

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