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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Israelites in the desert, Otto, Oswald, Schopper, Gramss

Album Summary

>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Die Israeliten in der Wuste, oratorio for 5 soloists, chorus, orchestra & continuo, H. 775, Wq. 238
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote his Israeliten in der Wueste immediately after assuming the post of Hamburg City Music Director in 1768/69, succeeding his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann. As his musical visiting card he selected a subject offering him a broad palette of expressive possibilities and a neutral theme transcending the limits of a particular religious confession. The theme must have appealed to Bach already on the basis of his aesthetic combining Empfindsamkeit and the Sturm und Drang: here he had the opportunity to depict human beings in life's extreme situations and to do so both textually and musically.

International Record Review
This oratorio is an emotionally deep and dwelling work which contains some of Emanuel's most carefully considered vocal music...Brunner directs a modestly scaled performance with forces closely modelled on what Emanuel himself had at his disposal...in this performance there's a chamber-like intimacy which suits the music very well.

Fanfare Magazien - Jerry Dubins
The performance, however, is absolutely wonderful. The solo singers are superb, and the Salzburger Hofmusik, which plays principally, though not exclusively, on period instruments, is solid and robust under the leadership of Wolfgang Brunner. CPO's recording, as expected from this outstanding label, is excellent. I haven't heard the Christie performance that Youngren reviewed, so I can't offer any comparative comments. Interestingly though, Youngren also mentions at one point how Bach's melodic lines and strange harmonies undermine the sense of the text.

In some ways, I suppose, Bach's Israelites in the Desert is a link between Handel's oratorios and Haydn's The Creation. Recommended...

MusicWeb International, May 2012
Gudrun Sidonie Otto and Nele Gram¯ give impressive performances of the parts of the two Israelite women. The former has the clearer and more dramatic voice, the second is somewhat darker and sweeter, but they both do a great job in their respective roles...this is an impressive recording.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Solitär Mozarteum, Salzburg (09/2008).


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Works Details

>Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel : Die Israeliten in der Wüste, oratorio for 5 soloists, chorus, orchestra & continuo, H. 775, Wq. 238
  • Performers: Michael Schopper (Piano); Nele Gramß (Soprano); Gudrun Otto (Soprano); Hermann Oswald (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Wolfgang Brunner
  • Ensemble: Salzburger Hofmusik
  • Notes: Composition written: 1769.
  • Running Time: 70 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1769