"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 and became friends with Georg Friedrich Händel while traveling to Leipzig. He was also a contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach, and came to be godfather to Bach’s 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. This piece is a concise gem of Baroque choral music, setting the shortest of all the Psalms. It's essentially a miniature motet - no recitative, no arias, just sparkling and expressive choral writing. "