Klaus Mertens / Accademia Daniel / Shalev Ad-El

Baroque Bass Cantatas

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Baroque Bass Cantatas Review

by Uncle Dave Lewis

One can hardly think of a better bass-baritone in the early music realm than Klaus Mertens, and he keeps up such a busy slate of live appearances and recordings that one wonders if he keeps his bedroll next to the recording console. CPO's Lobt Gott ihr Christen allzugleich: Baroque Bass Cantatas from Central Germany puts Mertens through the paces of six very obscure early 18th century sacred cantatas for low voice, supported by the Accademia Daniel under Shalev Ad-El. What the cantatas all have in common is their source; all are known from copies kept at the Kantoreizarchiv at the church of St. Johannis in Mügeln. About the only composer one is in danger of knowing anything about is Georg Philipp Telemann, and although the cantata heard here is ascribed to him the style of the recitatives suggests that it actually might not be by him; indeed, whomever it's really by, Kaum ist der Heÿland auf der Erden does not shine with Telemann's usual ingenuity and brilliance. One composer is identified only as "Hoffmann" and nothing more is known about him; interestingly enough, Hoffman's is one of the better cantatas on the album.

Mertens, as always, is terrific, but some of these cantatas are not so hot. Johann Theodor Roembildt's cantata Es gebt kein andrer Weg zum Himmel has fairly nice solo passagework for the German flute, but the writing for the singer is rather strident, sing-songy, and pompous. One thing this disc makes clear -- and this may or may not be something one would want to know -- is that there are Baroque solo cantatas even more obscure than the most obscure Telemann cantatas, the repertoire's equivalent of observing planets orbiting around distant stars in the universe. For those obsessed with the knowledge of such extra-extra-terrestrial bodies, CPO's Baroque Bass Cantatas from Central Germany might well seem as manna from heaven. For more terrestrial tastes, no amount of contextualization will further clarify why it is worth getting out the telescope to observe works as plain and past their expiration date as these are.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Nichts ist süßer, als die Liebe
1 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 03:32 Amazon
2 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:21 Amazon
3 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 02:25 Amazon
4 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:53 Amazon
5 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 03:07 Amazon
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
6 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:41 Amazon
7 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 02:35 Amazon
8 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 03:51 Amazon
Es geht kein andrer Weg zum Himmel
9 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 06:33 Amazon
10 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 00:50 Amazon
11 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 04:22 Amazon
Lobt Gott ihr Christen allzugleich
12 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:02 Amazon
13 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 00:42 Amazon
14 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:48 Amazon
15 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:12 Amazon
16 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:53 Amazon
17 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 00:24 Amazon
18 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:14 Amazon
Mein Hertzens=Hauß bereite dich
19 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 03:29 Amazon
20 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:27 Amazon
21 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 07:16 Amazon
Kaum ist der Heÿland auf der Erden
22 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 02:52 Amazon
23 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:33 Amazon
24 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 02:42 Amazon
25 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:40 Amazon
26 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 03:54 Amazon
Meine Sonne stehet stille
27 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 05:38 Amazon
28 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 01:19 Amazon
29 Shalev Ad-El / Accademia Daniel / Klaus Mertens 03:12 Amazon
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