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Light on Telemann


Naxos   8.554244

Analekta fleurs de lys   FL 2 3138

Record Box


As the CD explosion's shock waves spread ever wider more and more music (as distinct from the counterfeit variety at the pop end) reaches our ears from areas of neglect. Take Telemann. If we are scrupulously honest, his life and music count but little in our experience. Yet, provided we keep estimations in reasonable balance, he was a pretty smart composer, plodding at times yet capable of excellent ideas and the ability to base firm structures upon them. Furthermore, his nature admitted outright pranks when fun was called for.

These two CDs take up some of the orchestral suites, of which those from the Canadian players include the suite Burlesque de Don Quixotte. Some of the misadventures are heard in the music with both technique and imagination creating effects without losing musical balance. Similarly, another suite concerns itself with the Stock Exchange and a few financial ups and downs. Another takes a jaundiced view of frogs and crows in doleful song. [listen - Analekta CD, track 7, 0:00-0:36].


Telemann Darmstadt Overtures. Copyright (c) 1999 HNH International Ltd.The German record of overture-suites is devoid of fun and full of music demonstrating the fusion of French and Italian styles. That in itself has an invigorating effect on Telemann's capabilities, and there's his fondness for switching from strings to woodwind in rapid alternation. [listen - Naxos CD, track 6, 1:00-1:27]. It is also an effective device for creating a colour spread.

There's a difference between these bands: the Canadian group has an oft-used refinement of colour and dynamic that is delicious, whereas the German players use a smaller spectrum of expression. Both groups display bravura in ensemble and allow the music to speak clearly of the intentions of a composer so generously endowed with musical ideas. Bach had a creative virtuosity so brilliant in achievement as to place other composers of his time in a deep shadow, and only as we persist will we gain a true perspective. [listen - Analekta CD, track 3, 0:00-1:00]. Telemann is one who is worth a full resurrection.


Copyright © 2 February 2000 by Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK









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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series of shorter CD reviews