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Telemann - Magnificat settings

I've found two so far, a more public Latin setting and a more intimate German setting. What they have in common is this - the most exquisite, most imaginative music is for "He hath fillèd the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away."

Very vague memories of having once heard a Telemann Magnificat and enjoyed it were in no wise clear enough to prepare me for the shock of the C major and G major settings, found during the April 2003 'dillo-excursion on a Philips LP of no detectable date. Well-crafted, beautiful, unusual music, as you'd expect — what rocked me on my heels was seeming to discover something of Telemann's convictions. I don't believe the depth of his response to these texts was merely professional.

Latin Magnificat

The jolly, tumbling figures for dispersit brought a smile, but the hairs stood up on the back of my neck when the chorus died away to a low, two-part, plagal cadence on humiles, and my breath stopped when the extraordinarily free line of the following tenor aria started. Hardly a tune at all, more five notes that somehow belong together beyond dispute, and expressive dissonances in the accompaniment that reminded me of Cosií fan Tutte. A particularly cheerful soprano and bass duet for the doxology, a neat and thorough echo for sicut erat … and all the while rising line and curl of esurientes distracting my attention.

German Magnificat

Simpler, more direct, and perhaps an argument for the vernacular. You may know a Latin text inside out and back to front, fully aware of its meaning and even alert to its quantities, but the language you speak every day must have a different effect on your imagination. For He hath regarded floats over a ravishingly entwined accompaniment for oboes, the acknowledgement and gratitude of His mercy is on them that fear Him survives even the ponderously wobbling Wagnerian contralto, and once again humble and meek is set with moving simplicity as the link to an exquisite tenor aria.