Bach & Telemann – Sacred Cantatas – Philippe Jaroussky, Freiburger Barockorchester (2016) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Bach & Telemann – Sacred Cantatas – Philippe Jaroussky, Freiburger Barockorchester (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:14:50 minutes | 1,36 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Erato – Warner Classics
Recorded: Ensemblehaus Freiburg, 12-19 December 2015

For her first recording on Erato as a newly-signed exclusive artist, Nathalie Stutzmann conducts her superb Orfeo 55 musicians playing on Baroque instruments, while singing some of Handel’s most virtuosic arias, all with a rare mastery of both arts – neither one in the shadow of the other.

Heroes from the Shadows makes stars of the unfairly overlooked roles – from Arsamene to Zenobia – who sing Handel’s hidden operatic jewels: Cornelia from Giulio Cesare (‘Son nata’ in duet with star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky as her guest), Dardano’s stately ‘Pena tiranna’ from Amadigi di Gaula, and the sublime, intimate ‘Senti, bell’idol mio’ sung by Claudio in Silla. Nathalie Stutzmann also relinquishes vocal duties to conduct Orfeo 55 in ravishing instrumental music: sinfonias from Poro, Partenope, Scipione and Serse.

Review Lindsay Kemp (

Another Handel arias disc? Yes; although for once not just a run-down of usual arias from roles a singer happens to have sung recently but a carefully themed recital which brings into the light music that has for the most part languished undeservedly in obscurity. ‘Heroes from the Shadows’ takes as its subject arias written for Handel’s secondary characters which, though less celebrated, have just as much of the composer’s genius in them. For Handel makes no distinction: arias for subsidiary characters are as likely to be as vividly illuminated by psychological insight as those for leading roles.

They do tend to attract less attention from top singers, however, so it is lucky that they are performed here by one of today’s most distinguished Baroque voices. Nathalie Stutzmann’s dark, smooth contralto is always a pleasure to hear but her expressive intensity, athletic virtuosity and emotional intelligence make it a valuable instrument indeed (and an authentic one too; all but two of these arias were written for female singers) – it is hard to imagine anyone bringing more depth and nobility to Handel’s heart-rending slow arias of hopeless love. Yet it is not just a matter of singing slowly and beautifully: in Arsamene’s aria from Serse, the word ‘cor’ at the end of the B section is barely sounded; Ottone breaks momentarily into speech in his aria from Agrippina; and ‘Pena tiranna’, the plaintive sarabande with pained oboe and bassoon lines for Dardano from Amadigi di Gaula is one of several arias to culminate in a surging climactic final phrase and orchestral play-out. Subtle, considered and truthful touches like this make every aria, be it fast or slow, a memorably shaped event. Everything about that shaping is attributable to Stutzmann herself, of course, for it is she who conducts the orchestra she founded in 2009. Despite some edgy tuning from the strings, they are with her at every turn.


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Cantata, “Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust”, BWV 170
01 I. Aria Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust (6:13)
02 II. Recitativo Die Welt, das Sündenhaus (1:24)
03 III. Aria Wie jammern mich doch die verkehrten Herzen (8:00)
04 IV. Recitativo Wer sollte sich demnach (1:08)
05 V. Aria Mir ekelt mehr zu leben (5:30)

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Cantata, “Der am Ölberg zagende Jesus”, TWV 1:364
06 I. Accompagnato Die stille Nacht umschloss den Kreis der Erden (2:58)
07 II. Arie Ich bin betrübt bis in den Tod (3:00)
08 III. Rezitativ Er rung die heil’gen Hände (0:37)
09 IV. Arie Mein Vater! Wenn dir’s wohlgefällt (3:26)
10 V. Rezitativ Allein, die Angst nahm jeden Nu (0:33)
11 VI. Arie Kommet her, ihr Menschenkinder (3:43)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Cantata, “Ich habe genug”, BWV 82
12 I. Aria Ich habe genug (7:28)
13 II. Recitativo Ich habe genug (1:06)
14 III. Aria Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen (10:40)
15 IV. Recitativo Mein Gott! wann kommt das schöne: Nun! (0:49)
16 V. Aria Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod (3:33)

Georg Philipp Telemann
Cantata, “Jesus liegt in letzten Zügen”, TWV 1:983
17 I. Arie Jesus liegt in letzten Zügen (5:19)
18 II. Rezitativ Erbarmenswürd’ger Blick! (1:12)
19 III. Arie Mein liebster Heiland (4:56)
20 IV. Rezitativ Jedoch, da dir’s gefällt (0:45)
21 V. Arie Darauf freuet sich mein Geist (2:18)

Philippe Jaroussky, contre-ténor
Freiburger Barockorchester
Ann-Kathrin Brüggemann, oboe
Juan de la Rubia, organ
Petra Müllejans, violin & direction



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