Willens, Michael Alexander
The baroque master Georg Philipp Telemann set the St. Luke Passion in eleven different versions. He did so because as the city's music director he composed for five of Hamburg's principal churches and had the task of setting the passion narrative from the Gospel of Luke in alternation with those in Matthew, Mark, and John at regular intervals of four years. He did not want to repeat himself in this performance series, and his forty-six church passions trace his stylistic path from the baroque to early classicism. In 2012 the St. Luke Passion of 1728 was performed during the fiftieth anniversary of the Telemann Festival Days in Magdeburg's Concert Hall. The work had been included on the program already in 1965 for the Second Telemann Days in a rendering with modern instruments. Now the Cologne Academy has interpreted the work with a soft and transparent sound on historical instruments. This gospel passion illustrates once again the great care, imaginativeness, and theological understanding with which Telemann repeatedly occupied himself with the gospel account, always seeking to employ music toward the goal of conveying the Passion of Jesus Christ intelligently, affectively, and edifyingly. Yet another rich contribution to our extensive Telemann discography!
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