- Jesus liegt in letzten Zugen, sacred cantata for voice, 2 oboes, strings & continuo, TWV 1:983
- Die stille Nacht umschloss den Kreis der Erden, sacred cantata for voice, 2 flutes, strings & continuo, TWV 1:364
There are several possible reasons to hear this album of church cantatas by French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky. You might be curious as to how he fares for the first time through an entire disc in the German language, and the answer is that he's done his homework. You might be pleased to find that Telemann, writing solo cantatas here, proved an adept imitator of the Bach style. You might enjoy the lively sound of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra under violinist-director Petra Müllejans, who appreciates the forward-looking quality of this music (even Bach's) and gives it the right rhythmic drive. And the oboe work of Ann-Kathrin Brüggemann, weaving in and out of Jaroussky's vocal lines, is a pleasure. Yet the main attraction, as always with this creamy-voiced soul, is Jaroussky's instrument itself, undiminished by a decade in the classical Top Ten. You can't go wrong in sampling, but try one of the Telemann cantatas, perhaps the aria "Ich bin betrübt bis in den Tod, for the revelation that this composer, who prized entertainment, could be serious when he tried to be. Erato delivers superior sound in the Ensemblehaus Freiburg, not a place where they usually hang out, and in general this makes for an essential pick for Jaroussky fans, and is an equally good place to start with this remarkable voice.