This release contains a variety of music by Telemann, including four sacred cantatas, an instrumental trio and a scene from his 1721 comic opera Der Geduldige Socrates, and it features American singer Patrice Djerejian. Although described as a contralto, Djerejian's voice sounds more like that of a light lyric mezzo, with access to the lower notes necessary for a contralto. In its upper register, her voice has more substance than in the lower, where it frequently sounds breathy and unsupported -- it certainly doesn't have the weight and richness associated with most contraltos. The result is not unpleasant, but is somewhat forced, and not at all like a real contralto; Djerejian sounds like she would be far more effective in a repertoire better suited to her natural voice type. The Telemann cantatas are attractive pieces, each in three movements -- aria, recitative, aria -- geared to the seasons of the liturgical year. The excerpt from Der Geduldige Socrates, representing a serious moment in the score, doesn't showcase the composer's gift for comedy, and here casts Djerejian in a tessitura even less appropriate than the cantatas, in which she has to awkwardly force the lowest notes. The English Chamber Orchestra performs energetically under Philip Ledger, whose continuo playing considerably enlivens things. The sound is present, with good balance.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Weg mit Sodoms gift'gen Früchten, sacred cantata for voice, violin & continuo (HGD), TWV 1:1534|
|Glaubet, hoffet, leidet, duldet, sacred cantata for voice, violin & continuo, TWV 1:626|
|Stille die Tränen der winselnden Armen, sacred cantata for voice, flute & continuo (HGD), TWV 1:1401|
|Ergeuss dich zur Salbung, sacred cantata for voice, violin & continuo (HGD), TWV 1:447|
|Trio for 2 flutes & continuo in D major, TWV 42:D16|
|Der geduldige Socrates, comic singspiel (opera) in 3 acts, TWV 21:9|