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Bach, Graupner & Telemann

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
- Preludes and fugues, excerpts from the Well-Tempered Clavier books I and II
- Cantata Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (*) BWV 199 (1714)
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
- Quartet in G Major TWV 43:G5
- Concerto for oboe in D minor TWV 51:d1
Christoph GRAUPNER (1683-1760)
- Cantata Mein Herz schwimmt in Blut (*) GWV 1152/12b (1712)

At the beginning of the 1720s, three composers could have become the new Leipzig Cantor. Only one really did so: Johann Sebastian Bach. And yet, he was not the favourite. It was Georg Philipp Telemann, who declined the offer. Graupner, whose work had long been left in the dark and unfairly forgotten, was the second choice. However, at the time he could not leave his position in Darmstadt.

“As we cannot choose from the best, we must therefore choose from the mediocre”, wrote one of the town council members angrily. And it was eventually Johann Sebastian Bach who was offered the famous position of Leipzig Cantor.

Johann Sebastian Bach and Christoph Graupner set the same text, Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (My heart is drowning in blood) ,based on the themes of repent and pardon, to music, but it is unknown if Bach knew of Graupner's composition, written two years earlier. These two cantatas, at the heart of this programme, are carried by the purity and freshness of young soprano Norma Nahoun's voice. Telemann's oboe concerto TWV 51:d1 and quartet TWV 43:G5 complete this examination of 18th century music.

Norma Nahoun

The young soprano, born in Paris, began her studies at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris under the direction of Laurence Equilbey where she graduated in June 2007. Subsequently she had been studying a student at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler (Berlin) in Norma Sharp’s class and was awarded prizes at the Schloss Rheinsberg Chamber OperFestival and the International Competition of interpretation of French art song in Toulouse, she also won Verbier Festival's prestigious Voice Academy Award.

In the 2016-17 season, rising french soprano Norma Nahoun makes her debuts at the Metz Opera, the Limoges Opera as well as at the Mozarteum Salzbourg. This season is synonym of discovery as Norma will sing 4 new roles, like Lucy in The Telefon by Menotti or Solveig in Grieg’s Peer Gynt in Norwegian.

  • The three grand maestros of Leipzig are carried by Café Zimmermann's musicians' charisma and Norma Nahoun's captivating voice.


Norma Nahoun, soprano
7 musicians - 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, organ, oboe

© Hélène Pambrun