Freiburg Baroque Orchestra: Thunder Ode

Book tickets

Johann Sebastian Bach: Missa Brevis F major BWV 233
Georg Philipp Telemann: "The Thunder Ode" TWV 6:3

Vox Luminis
Freiburger Barockorchester
Lionel Meunier, baritone & conductor

The Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755 was one of the most severe natural disasters
on the Iberian Peninsula. At 9:40 a.m., the earth began to shake for minutes, destroying the
city center, causing countless fires, and causing the sea to recede. About
40 minutes later, a towering tidal wave reached the city, sweeping away the
buildings still standing. Nearly a third of the population perished and 85 percent of the city
was destroyed.
Such an inconceivable event did not go unheard in Hamburg and the city council ordered
an extraordinary day of repentance, fasting and prayer. For this occasion Georg Philipp
Telemann was to compose an oratorio, which was premiered as the ,,Donner-Ode" on October 10, 1756 in the
Katharinenkirche. Telemann's oratorio, based on an adaptation of
Psalms 8 and 29, sings of the power
of God over nature in an impressive and also threatening manner, and Telemann also incorporates operatic elements to vividly depict the
forces of nature.
The Thunder Ode is juxtaposed with J. S. Bach's Missa brevis in F major. The Missa is a
of four mass settings Bach composed between 1733 and 1739 for the Lutheran service
, containing only the Kyrie and the Gloria (=Missa brevis). Compared to
other sacred works by the Thomaskantor, these masses are heard relatively rarely,
so that the audience of this concert evening will have a very special listening pleasure.

Other events that you might like

Return to overview