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Klaus Mertens

Bass-baritone Klaus Mertens is a leading singer of Baroque concert repertory, especially the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He has recorded nearly 100 of the cantatas and all the large choral works of the Leipzig master to great acclaim.

He was given singing lessons while in elementary school. His university studies were intended to prepare him for a career as a music teacher, and he worked as a schoolteacher for a time. But his developing vocal talents made it feasible to attempt a serious singing career. He embarked on additional voice training, teaching, and interpretation studies with Else Bischof-Bornes, Jakob Stämpfli, and Peter Massmann.

Mertens has established a major concert career and has made over 100 recordings. He has worked with leading interpreters in the early music/authentic performance school -- for example, Ton Koopman, with whom he participated in a complete set of the Bach cantatas, as well as René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, Sigiswald Kuijken, Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. With conductors such as Gerard Schwarz, Peter Schreier, Edo de Waart, Herbert Blomstedt, Iván Fischer, and Hans Vonk he has appeared in major orchestral concerts, including those with the Saint Louis, Chicago, and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestras, the Dresden Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.

Since much of the activity in the early music field is associated with summer music festivals, he frequently appears at such venues as the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms, the Mostly Mozart Festival of New York, the Salzburg Festival, the Prague Spring, Bach-Tage Berlin, the Flanders Festival, the Oxford Handel Festival, and many others.

In common with many other early music specialists, Mertens also has an interest in major repertory of the 20th century, performing Hindemith's A Requiem for Those We Love and Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, among other works. He has also received praise for his work in Mendelssohn's Elijah, the same composer's Paul, and other major Romantic concert works. He also is highly regarded as a lieder singer. Mertens has frequently appeared on European television and radio broadcast concerts.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Telemann: Der Messias; Concerti

Title: Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4

1. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 1. Sing, Unsterbliche Seele

2. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 1. Vergebens Erhub Sich Satan

3. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 1. Prächtig

4. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 1. Aber, O Werk, Das Nur Gott Allgegenwärtig

5. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 1. Sterbliche, Kennt Ihr Die Ehre

6. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 1. Gott Kam Selber Vom Himmel Herab

7. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 2. Vorspiel

8. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 2. Mirjams, Und Deine Wehmut, Deborah

9. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 2. Schönster Unter Den Menschen!

10. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 2. Symphonie

11. Der Messias (Sing, Unsterbliche Seele), Sacred Oratorio For 3-part Chorus, Cello, Orchestra & Continuo, TWV 6:4: Part 2. Mirjam, Sein Auge Verlischt

Title: Septet (Concerto), For 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Violins & Continuo In A Minor, TWV 44:42

12. Septet (Concerto), For 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Violins & Continuo In A Minor, TWV 44:42: Without Tempo

13. Septet (Concerto), For 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Violins & Continuo In A Minor, TWV 44:42: Without Tempo (2)

14. Septet (Concerto), For 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Violins & Continuo In A Minor, TWV 44:42: Affettuoso

15. Septet (Concerto), For 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Violins & Continuo In A Minor, TWV 44:42: Vivace

Title: Quintet (Sonata), For 2 Violins, 2 Viols & Continuo In F Major, TWV 44:11

16. Quintet (Sonata), For 2 Violins, 2 Viols & Continuo In F Major, TWV 44:11: Affettuoso

17. Quintet (Sonata), For 2 Violins, 2 Viols & Continuo In F Major, TWV 44:11: Allegro

18. Quintet (Sonata), For 2 Violins, 2 Viols & Continuo In F Major, TWV 44:11: Adagio

19. Quintet (Sonata), For 2 Violins, 2 Viols & Continuo In F Major, TWV 44:11: Presto

Title: Concerto Ripieno (Sonata), For Strings & Continuo In E Flat Major, TWV 43:Es1

20. Concerto Ripieno (Sonata), For Strings & Continuo In E Flat Major, TWV 43:Es1: Grave

21. Concerto Ripieno (Sonata), For Strings & Continuo In E Flat Major, TWV 43:Es1: Allegro

22. Concerto Ripieno (Sonata), For Strings & Continuo In E Flat Major, TWV 43:Es1: Andante

23. Concerto Ripieno (Sonata), For Strings & Continuo In E Flat Major, TWV 43:Es1: Allegro (2)

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