Telemann’s happy debut at the Liceu

Georg Philipp Telemann is one of the great forgotten ones of the German Baroque. Four years older than Bach and Händel, his production is enormous and is made up of more than a thousand compositions, from sacred music to opera. Genius of his time, efforts to recover his work have never been successful. Director René Jacobs, who finally made his debut in the high school program -the day of his 75th birthday-, bet on this composer since the last century directing and putting his cantatas, passions and operas on record. In fact, in 1996, he recorded ‘Orpheus, oder Die wunderbare Beständigkeit der Liebe’ (‘Orpheus, or the wonderful persistence of love’), ‘tragédie lyrique’ premiered in 1726, the same one that he offered – somewhat pruned – on Saturday at the Liceu in a single semi-staged audition.

With this first Telemann at the Gran Teatre began a collaboration with Jacobs around the Orphic myth that will continue with ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’ by Gluck and ‘L’Orfeo’ by Monteverdi. News that would be happier if the titles were staged, but apparently it will be more of the same: a stop on a tour of various concert halls with the sole exception of the Barcelona lyrical coliseum (‘Orpheus’ also goes to France and the Netherlands). Initiatives like this, with a work to be discovered, in a single audition and in concert, are not frequent in theaters unless it is about the recovery of local heritage. As it was assembled, it worked wonderfully on Jacobs’ own ‘royal’ synthetic with Benoît de Leersnyder.

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The Belgian maestro, tireless savior of forgotten scores and renovator of the interpretation of an entire era, He showed before the reverential B’Rock Orchestra and the polite choir all his dramatic flair and technical expertise, as well as his questionable judgment when shaping his distributions. A couple of good voices, budding talents and a few black pearls are now tradition; for the same reason there are fans who prefer to listen to Jacobs on record, but this case was an exception, since in addition to the brilliant orchestral work and the prodigious sound that the cast achieved, it worked due to its stylistic adequacy. The versatile, expressive and powerful Orasia by Kateryna Kasper stood out above all, as well as the Orpheus ringtone by Kresimir Strazanac -although not fluid in color-, and the sonorous Pluto by Christian Immler. The rest were correct, such as Mirella Hagen’s Eurydice, David Fischer’s Eurimedes, Benno Schachtner’s Ascalax, Salomé Haller’s Ismene and Gunta Smirnova’s Cephisa.

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