Classical review: JBO

Most cantatas and concerti radiated a joy of living, making them endurable for contemporary audiences

December 10, 2017 21:21
1 minute read.
Violin player

Violin player (illustrative photo). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

The 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Phillip Telemann (1681-1767), a contemporary of Bach, was celebrated by a performance of his works in the Jerusa lem Baroque Orchestra’s recent concert, conducted by David Shemer.

Doomed to live under Bach’s formidable shadow, Telemann has undeservedly been largely forgotten. The diversity of his oeuvre was displayed by this concert’s program – cantatas and concerti for three violins (Noam Schuss, Dafna Ravid, Rahel Ringelstein) and for flute and recorder (Idit Shemer, Drora Bruck).

Most cantatas and concerti radiated a joy of living, making them endurable for contemporary audiences. The violin concerto’s slow movement’s lyricism even foreshadowed the Romantic era.

In the cantatas, Adaya Peled’s cute and youthful sounding soprano was a pleasure to hear. The pleasure would have still increased if, in “Weg, nichtige Freuden” (Away, vain pleasures), the pronunciation of the German text had been more clearly understandable. Avital Deri’s mezzo-soprano sounded warm, appealing and expressive.

A more solemn note was struck in “Sei getreu bis in den Tod” (Be faithful until death). Baritone Guy Pelc excelled in extremely flexible coloraturas. Most solo arias were actually duets of voice and violin or cello – one of the many strokes of Telemann’s genius and originality.

Telemann might have been grateful for this resurrection of his works, and the audience for having become acquainted with a not very well-known Baroque composer.

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