Telemann: Trio Sonatas

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LABELS: Stradivarius
WORKS: Trio Sonatas
PERFORMER: Tripla Concordia; Fabio Biondi (violin)
The Italian ensemble Tripla Concordia is joined by violinist Fabio Biondi in five of Telemann’s Trio Sonatas with treble recorder. A sixth piece, in F minor for treble recorder, is a solo sonata with continuo. While each piece is given its catalogue number, by which few of us are yet able to identify one Telemann sonata from another, no mention is made of the printed collections – much more familiar to readers – from which three of the six works are taken. Thus, one of the two A minor Trios belongs to Telemann’s most ambitious chamber music anthology, Essercizii musici (c1739), while the other comes from his Sechs Trios (1718). The Recorder Sonata, for which Telemann offered bassoon as alternative, is perhaps the best-known piece here and is included in his musical periodical Der getreue Music Meister (1728-9). The remaining items on the disc, though belonging to no published edition, are nevertheless well represented elsewhere in the catalogue. Biondi and Tripla Concordia provide notably brisk and animated performances of these entertaining pieces, responding with spontaneity to the deft and even balance of the voices. Small wonder that Telemann was so admired in his lifetime for chamber-ensemble writing of this order. Sometimes, though, I found Biondi too aggressive in his attack and this leads to occasional lapses in intonation. But exuberant playing such as this yields more pleasure than disappointment. Nicholas Anderson