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Missa etcetera

thu 30 may 2024 22:00 hrs
Composer: Johann Mattheson

This episode will feature one big baroque piece: Johann Mattheson’s oratorio ‘Joseph’.

Mattheson (1681-1764) is a well-known name in music history, primarily recognized for his role as an author of music theoretical works.

He isn’t as well-known as a composer, partially because a large part of his body of work got lost.
Mainly his operas: he was one of the most prominent opera composers of his time in Germany. His operas were formed in the Oper am Gänsemarkt in Hamburg.
He was also the ‘Musikdirektor‘ at the Cathedral in Hamburg. It had a significant degree of autonomy and was not subject to the rules that applied to the other churches.

He had women sing in his church music, which was prohibited in other churches. In his oratorios, the solo parts were sung by opera singers. This is also the case with the oratorio Joseph.
This piece is based on an chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Händel addressed the same subject in his oratorio ‘Joseph and his brethren‘. But in Mattheson’s oratorio, the history itself is scarcely addressed. That primarily serves as the framework upon which the message is based.
When Joseph, acting as the viceroy of Egypt, reunites with his brothers, they reconcile. From this, the message of the oratorio is derived: one should love their neighbors. The full title of the oratorio points in that direction: ‘Der gegen seine Brüder barmherzige Joseph‘.

Johann Mattheson (1681-1764)
1. Oratorio ‘Der gegen seine Brüder barmherzige Joseph’
Klemens Mölkner, tenor (Jozef). Ensemble Paulinum (also solo parts), Pulchra Musica Baroque Orchestra conducted by Christian Bonath
(cd: “Joseph – Oratorio 1727” – Capriccio C5448, 2022)

Johann Mattheson
2. Fugua VIII in C (from: Die wohlklingende Fingersprache)
Gerd Zacher, organ
(cd: “Les droits parlans” – Aeolus AE-10161, 2001)


Pictured above: Johann Mattheson

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