Personalities | Johann Kuhnau | Late Baroque | Classical
(Yo’-han Koo’-nou) 1660–1722
After studying at Dresden and Zittau, Kuhnau went to Leipzig, where he became organist in 1684 and in 1701 Kantor at St Thomas’s Church. He wrote many cantatas and other sacred works which were technically and musically resourceful – with their lyrical lines and powerful fugues – and often dramatic; he also composed much harpsichord music, including suites and a well-known set of Biblische Historien (‘Biblical Stories’), sonatas which portray, ingeniously if sometimes naïvely, the emotional states aroused by events described in the Bible. His successor at the Thomaskirche was J. S. Bach.
German Cantatas before Bach, Collegium Vocale (dir) Philippe Herreweghe (Harmonia Mundi)
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