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Dip Your Ears, No. 164 (C.H.Graun’s Easter Oratorio)

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C.H.Graun, Easter Oratorio
M.A.Willens / Cologne Academy
N.Koufochristou, D.Saskova, J.Kobow, A.Wolf

More Than Not-Quite-Bach

Any (North-) German composer of the high baroque, operating no less in the Prussian-Saxon corridor and composing works like Easter Oratorios is in the ungrateful position—in our age, not then—of being compared to Master Bach. That’s not exactly like every Dolphins QB being compared to Dan Marino, but close enough: you just can’t win. But Carl Heinrich Graun’s hour-long, four-partite Easter Oratorio is so consistently pleasing and uplifting, it deserves much more than “not-quite-Bach” status. Trumpet and timpani glory radiates, arias turn into duets with various solo instruments, each part opens and closes with a well written chorus… This makes perfect Sunday-any-day listening, of interest to anyone who also enjoys Bach Cantatas. Not the least thanks to the marvelous performance under Michael Alexander Willens and the Cologne Academy.

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