In the second half of the 18th century the German oratorio was marked by two characteristics: the tendency toward a highly individualistic depiction of emotions, and the avoidance of dramatic, operatic plots. The lyrical depiction of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, rather than Old Testament stories, thus became the preferred subject matter for authors who wished to create morally uplifting texts. Wholly conforming to this new aesthetic, as promulgated by the Swiss professor Johann Georg Sulzer, is C.P.E. Bach’s grandiose Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu, written during the composer’s sojourn in Hamburg and which earned high recognition beyond this city during his lifetime.
Also included on the set is Gott hat den Herrn auferwecket, a charming cantata written for the 1756 Easter services in Berlin and which was probably commissioned by an outside party – given that the composer’s duties at this time were centered around the court of Frederick the Great as a harpsichordist. Performed by an all-German cast that includes the renowned Rheinische Kantorei, this release is a welcome addition to Brilliant Classics’ every-growing discography of C.P.E. Bach repertoire – one that will hopefully go some way towards increasing awareness of one of music history’s most significant composers.
- Recorded October 1984, St Amandus-kirche, Köln-Rheinkassel (Wq244); April 1986, Immanuelskirche, Wuppertal-Barmen (Wq240).
- Includes booklet notes on both works.
- An important release of this magnificent Oratorio by C.P.E Bach. The oratorio, a substantial work for vocal soloists, choir and orchestra, doesn’t follow the Baroque tradition of a continuous story based on biblical texts, but uses texts of a more general nature in which the emotions connected with the suffering and resurrection of Christ are expressed , in a most moving and pungent way.
- Excellent performances by famous soloists Barbara Schlick, Christoph Prégardien, Paul Elliott, Stephen Varcoe and the Early Music band Das kleine Konzert, conducted by Hermann Max.