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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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CD Review for Dad

For dads who prefer classical music, there’s certainly a wide selection of recordings to choose from.

But there are more Christmas gift options than old standby collections, like Handel’s Halleluia.

Instead, there’s Georg Philipp Telemann’s Der Messias – an emotional concerti that glorifies Jesus Christ with strings, flute, bassoon, oboe, organ and voice.

It has a very old-world sound, which is fitting for a composer who lived in the late 1600s to mid-1700s.

But the range of emotions it conveys is no less powerful today.

Despite a fairly small ensemble, Telemann moves listeners however he wants – from light, joyful string melodies to dramatic, glorious tenor singing to mournful oboe solos that cut through the soul.

The composition was written to put words from 18th century poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock to music.

The first six tracks’ lyrics glorify the coming of the Messiah and ask that the poem be worthy praise to God, while the next five concentrate more on Jesus’ Passion.

In most of part two, a soprano and an alto take on the roles of Miriam and Deborah, two women who followed Jesus as he carried the cross.

The two trade off in melodic conversation about Jesus’ suffering – a dynamic and entertaining technique.

Vocals are all beautifully sung in German, with English translations in the CD’s insert for dads who want to follow along.

The recording by German ensemble Telemannischen Collegium Michaelstein also includes three sonatas that Telemann wrote, adding roughly 24 minutes to the nearly hour-long album.

Der Massias does not have the grand sound of Handel’s Halleluia, but it doesn’t need to – it provides a spiritual, moving experience with a modest number of musical voices and a Baroque sound that only Telemann could compose.

-Dan Myers

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