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
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].
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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