Telemann: Trio Sonatas, TWV 42:d9, 42:d6, 42:d11, 42:e11, 42:F12, 42:g15 & 42:G11

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LABELS: Centaur
WORKS: Trio Sonatas, TWV 42:d9, 42:d6, 42:d11, 42:e11, 42:F12, 42:g15 & 42:G11
PERFORMER: The Publick Musick
The Publick Musick, which takes its name from the band employed by James II, is an accomplished mixed instrumental ensemble consisting of American and Canadian musicians. As any enthusiast for Telemann’s music knows, the composer wrote a tidy number of trios, a medium in which he thrived and for which he was greatly admired by his contemporaries. Nowadays, it is virtually impossible to find a disc of his trio sonatas which does not duplicate at least one item from another. Not so, I believe, with the present issue, which features some of the composer’s earliest essays in the form. Of the seven trios with continuo, three are for two violins, two for two melody instruments – flutes have been chosen here – one for oboe and violin and another for flute and viola da gamba. By-and-large these are captivating pieces whose craftsmanship and seductive allure are assured: if these pieces are stylistically representative of his youthful manhood then it is hardly surprising that success came to him as early as it did. Nor is it difficult to understand why the French took him to heart, for the softly spoken but hardly yet galant inflections of several of the slow movements must have had an instant appeal. The string trios, one of them a recent discovery, make the deeper impression, on balance, though the oboe and violin piece is eloquent and affecting. Nicholas Anderson