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Thread: Telemann Passions

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Default Telemann Passions

    Telemann composed a great number of Passions between 1716 and 1767. According to Wikipedia this number around 48 passions, lots of them (23) are now missing. However there are a fair number of recordings I want to listen to. At the moment I only own Brockes Passion recording by Jacobs / Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (Harmonia Mundi). Where to continue? Which other passions would you consider significant to start with?
    Last edited by JSBach85; Oct-07-2018 at 10:12.

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    I've been collecting & listening to Telemann passions on & off for about 40 years. Four tend to come down from my shelves more often than the others:

    LUKAS PASSION 1728 (TWV 5:13). Of the Telemann passions structured around the Scripture narrative (like JSB's), I find this the most fascinating structurally, because the narrative is interspersed with meditations on five Old Testament people whose situations paralleled one or more phases in the narrative (Joseph, Micaiah [not Micah], David, Samson, Jonah).

    LUKAS PASSION 1748 (TWV 5:33). Another passion structured around the Scripture narrative; in purely musical terms it seems to me Telemann's richest work of this kind, with unusually lavish (for Telemann) choruses & accompanied recitatives. The arias all seem to me first-rate too, and the narrative is well set.

    BROCKES-PASSION (TWV 5:1). Non-narrative; a set of 8 separate meditations on successive phases of the Passion, lasting about 15 minutes each. Can therefore be played one at a time daily for a week or so (in even the busiest week I can generally find 15 minutes per night for music, and precisely in the busiest week, 15 minutes of Telemann's unruffled good sense each evening may be exactly what I need!).

    DER TOD JESU (TWV 5:6). The first of four late Telemann oratorios that are sometimes seen as a set, perhaps indeed as a final summation of his art in this field: the other three are Die Auferstehung (TWV 6:7), Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu (TWV 6:6), and Der Tag des Gerichts. (Thus they cover the Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, and Judgment Day.) Whether or not they were intended as a set, I find they work very well together when played on four successive evenings.

    I don't mean that the above four are "better" than the others. They are simply the ones that get played most often.

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