"Laudate Jehovam Omnes Gentes" (Psalm 117), TWV 7:25
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
As a composer Telemann was prolific, providing an enormous body of work, both sacred and secular. This included 1043 church cantatas, and settings of the Passion for each year that he was in Hamburg, (46 in all!) He met Georg Friedrich Händel while traveling to Leipzig and they became friends. He was also a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach, and came to be godfather to his second son. In these days Bach is considered to be the greater composer, but during their lives Telemann was regarded as more significant.
With just two verses and sixteen words in Hebrew, Psalm 117 is the shortest of all 150 psalms. Telemann makes the most of the brief text by setting it in three distinct movements, each giving ample opportunity for text repetition and displaying a distinct mood, while remaining rhythmically intense.