Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Georg Philipp Telemann|
Telemann: Violin Concertos
Listen to Samples
Technically Impeccable, Occasionally Too Noble
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 07/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded in 1990 at Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead (London), this beautifully produced CD contains six lesser-known works for violin(s) by Germany?s most prolific 18th century composer, Georg Philipp Telemann, who was, during his lifetime, considerably more famous (and more in demand) than any of the Bach dynasty. But as Nicholas Anderson points out in his rather brief introduction to this music, ?Telemann did not altogether avoid in his own music those features which he criticised in others; sometimes his harmonies seem sparse, his passagework perfunctory.? Telemann was a great musician, but the violin ?seems to have been that in which he was least fluent?. It is also well-known that Telemann?s facility in composing has gained him a reputation for producing quantity rather than quality ? a reputation which, on the whole, is undeserved.
For me personally, the highlight on the present disc by Simon Standage and the Collegium Musicum 90 is the Concerto in G Major for Four Unaccompanied Violins which closes with a wonderful Vivace movement in which the four soloists (Simon Standage himself, Micaela Comberti, Andrew Manze and Miles Golding) produce a series of delightful fanfares. The Flute and Violin Concerto (soloists Rachel Brown and Simon Standage) is also a piece very much worth the listening to, with some attractive melody and passage-work. The two violin concertos here recorded are both pleasant to listen to, but do not attain the stature of Bach?s Violin Concertos. The A Major Concerto for Four Violins and Basso Continuo seems to me to be a less significant piece, whilst the Orchestral Suite ?La Changeante? after which the CD was named, although highly entertaining, is just one of a vast number of such suites that Telemann produced, as it seems quite effortlessly.
The Collegium Musicum 90 consists of five first violins, four second violins, two violas, two cellos, a double bass and a harpsichord. Among the musicians involved are many names that I seem to remember having seen on recordings by The English Concert and/or The Academy of Ancient Music, and there are, perhaps, certain similarities in the sound. Whereas Standage is always good on the fast movements, the slower ones tend to sound rather ?English?, with a certain reservedness or nobility that makes Telemann, on occasion, sound more like Handel in his later oratorios than the composer who picked up a lot of ideas from Polish fiddlers. For this reason, I am giving the CD four stars instead of five, despite the fact that the recording, technically speaking, is impeccable.