Johann Kuhnau

Biblische Sonaten

Federico Caldara (clavicembalo)

1 CD – Total time: 76:54
Booklet 12 pages, Italian/English/German


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Sonata No. 1: The Battle between David and Goliath
[1] The boasting of Goliath
[2] The trembling of the Israelites at the appearence of the Giant, and their prayer made to God
[3] The courage of David, and his desire to humble the arrogance of his dreadful enemy, together with
his confidence placed in the aid of God
[4] The struggle between the two, and their contest – with his sling, David throws the flint at the
forehead of the Giant – Goliath falls
[5] The flight of the Philistines, who are pursued by the Israelites
[6] The joy of the Israelites at their victory
[7] The concert of music by the women in honor of David
[8] The general jubilation, and the dances of joyfulness of the people


Sonata No. 2: Saul, who is cured by David through means of music
[9] Saul’s Affliction and Madness
[10] The refreshing music of David’s harp
[11] The King’s mind once more at peace


Sonata No. 3: The Wedding of Jacob
[12] The rejoicing of Laban’s whole household over the arrival of their dear cousin Jacob
[13] Jacob’s servitude lightened by his love for Rachel
[14] The bridal song sung by Rachel’s friends
[15] His wedding, and the congratulations
[16] Laban’s deceit
[17] The happy bridgeroom during the wedding night. Although his heart whispers a warning to him.
He puts this aside and falls asleep. Jacob’s bitterness over the deception


Sonata No. 4: Hezekiah, who being sick unto death, is restored again to health
[18] The troubled heart of King Hezekiah at the warning of his death and his ardent prayer for recovery
in a Lament
[19] His confidence that GOD has already heard his prayer
[20] Hezekiah’s joy at his recovery with fleeting thoughts of the former evil which however soon fade
from his memory


Sonata No. 5: Gideon, the deliverer of Israel
[21] Gideon’s doubt towards God’s promise of victory
[22] His fear at the sight of the mighty army of the enemy
[23] His redoubled courage on hearing the dream of one of the enemy, and its interpretation
[24] Gideon encourages his soldiers
[25] The sounding of the trumpets, the shattering of the pitchers and the battle cry
[26] The rout of the enemy and the pursuit of the Israelites
[27] The joy at the momentous victory of the Israelites


Sonata No. 6: The death and burial Of Jacob
[28] The sorrowful feelings of the children of Israel at the deathbed of their beloved father
[29] Their affliction at his death, and their thoughts ad to what would ensue therefrom
[30] The journey from Egypt into the land of Canaan
[31] The burial of Israel and the accompanying bitter lamentation.
[32] The consolation of the bereaved ones

The masterpiece of Johann Kuhnau (Geising, 1660 – Leipzig, 1722), as well as one of the most extraordinary examples of what would be called program music two centuries later, is offered on this CD by the young harpsichordist Federico Caldara in its complete and original version, that is, with the texts recited by an actor, as it was conceived by the composer. On this disc the talented Luciano Bertoli recites the texts for us in an Italian translated from the eighteenth-century original, thus more suitable for contemporary audiences, which, however, retain their function of introducing and describing, so to speak in music, the parts played. Loves, battles and biblical dramas thus come alive in this unique and very singular work by a composer who is still little visited, but whose importance in terms of the development of the harpsichord sonata, as well as the influence exerted on Bach himself, whom he preceded in the role of Kantor at the Thomaschule in Leipzig, can no longer be underestimated.