WORKS: Fantaisie for Recorder No. 1; Fantaisie for Recorder No. 3; Fantaisie for Recorder No. 8; Fantaisie for Recorder No. 10; Concerto in A minor for Two Recorders; Concerto in E minor for Recorder and Flute; Suite in A minor
PERFORMER: Jirí Stivín, Miloslav Klement (recorder), Jirí Válek (flute) Prague CO/Milan Munclinger
CATALOGUE NO: SU 3039-2 DDD/AAD
Telemann once confessed to having been fired by the impulse to become acquainted with the recorder, flute, oboe, chalumeau (an antecedent of the clarinet) and the viola da gamba. He became proficient on all of these and maybe others too, and wrote for them with inside knowledge. The least satisfying of these discs is the Prague Chamber Orchestra programme directed by the late Milan Munclinger. While recorder player Jirí Stivín is pleasing in the A minor Suite, the over-inflated orchestral support drags him down. The two Concertos fare no better, so it is to the unaccompanied Fantaisies that listeners must turn to hear Stivín to best advantage.
The period-instrument ensemble Badinage proves far more appealing for its lively music-making and its discerning selection of solo sonatas and miscellaneous keyboard piece. Among the best of these are a Sonata in F minor for bassoon from Der getreue Music-Meister and another in G minor for oboe from the composer’s impressive anthology Tafelmusik III; a Sonata in B flat from Essercizii Musici, though here played on a chalumeau, more properly belongs to the oboe. Soloist Paul Carroll, like Telemann before him, plays all the woodwind instruments in the programme.
Trios and quartets provide the mainstay of the Philidor Ensemble’s disc. Telemann was greatly admired for the former and an acknowledged pioneer in the latter. This programme features four impressive examples, together with the selfsame F minor Bassoon Sonata of Badinage’s recital. Accomplished playing of expressive and technical refinement. Nicholas Anderson