This concert is devoted to Georg Philipp Telemann. A composer, poet, polyglot, and above all a titan of work, who was paid much better by his employers than Johann Sebastian Bach, who lived at the same time. The Leipzig cantor highly valued his colleague – he became the godfather of one of his sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel.
Consisting of seven movements, the Overture-Suite in D major is a composition full of splendour and momentum, perfectly illustrating the scale of Telemann’s talent. It opens with a majestic Overture followed by graceful dances: minuet, gavotte and passacaglia. The lyrical, melodic Aria brings respite, and Les Postillons is distinguished by sharp rhythm and energetic, lively character. The whole is crowned with a solemn Fanfare.
Die Donnerode is a cantata for five solo voices (soprano, alto, tenor and two basses), choir and orchestra. The work was created to commemorate the victims of the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. Historians estimate that the disaster took the toll of about ninety thousand lives. Residents of the city died not only directly as a result of shocks. Twenty meters high tsunami waves that broke into the ruins, as well as fires everywhere brought fatalities too. The shocks were so strong that they were felt even in Venice, as Giacomo Casanova wrote in his memoirs. The Telemann cantata sounded for the first time in 1756 in the Hamburg church of St Jacob. It was liked so much that four years later the composer decided to add the second movement. Die Donnerode is a dramatic, intense and engaging work. An important role is played by brass instruments, as well as timpani that imitate an earthquake. It was one of the works most often performed during the composer’s lifetime. Also today its momentum makes a great impression on the listeners.