– J. S. Bach: Du Hirte Israel, höre, BWV 104 – C. P. E. Bach: Die Israeliten in der Wüste, Wq 238 (BR-CPEB D 1)
Anja Petersen (soprano − 1st Israelit), Sarah Maria Sun (soprano − 2nd Israelit), Daniel Johannsen (tenor), Johannes Weisser (bass), Chorus Musicus Köln, Das Neue Orchester, direction: Christoph Spering
The cantata »Du Hirte Israel, höre« (BWV 104) by J. S. Bach takes as its theme the Baroque idea of Jesus as the »Good Shepherd« and the refuge found by every person in God’s flock. In musical terms, this topos is interpreted as a pastorale. C. P. E. Bach, 1768/69, composed the oratorio »Die Israeliten in der Wüste« (Wq 238) shortly after taking up his new appointment as director of music for Hamburg. With it, he aimed to compose a work which could be performed »not just for one kind of celebration, but at any time, inside and outside church«. The influence of Handel, whose oratorios C. P. E. Bach greatly admired, can strongly be felt in this oratorio both in the choice of an Old Testament subject and in the musical themes and effects. The »Israeliten« never failed to unleash great enthusiasm among audiences throughout the eighteenth century and even today, this key work in the history of oratorio is again enjoying growing popularity.