Telemann the Chameleon
Telemann: Kleine Cammer-Musik – Partitas Nos 1 & 4; Fantasia for Solo Violin No. 7 in E flat, etc; plus works by JD Braun and JF Fasch
Lawo LWC1158 76:40 mins
Bergen Barokk is best known in the UK for its ongoing series of Telemann’s sacred cantatas, Harmonische Gottesdienst. Here, though, the ensemble – consisting of recorders, bassoon and harpsichord – presents a selection of pieces from Telemann’s vast repository of chamber music. Many of the items have been either arranged or adjusted to suit this particular instrumental combination. Additionally, two pieces by a contemporaneous Frenchman, Jean-Daniel Braun have been inserted into one of Telemann’s Fantasias for solo flute or, in this instance, recorder. Further interrupting the Telemann flow, so to speak, is a melodically appealing Sonata for bassoon by his gifted contemporary from Zerbst, Johann Friedrich Fasch.
The menu is an attractive one, though, dare I say it, perhaps more rewarding in the hands of a performer than in the ears of a listener. Indeed, the author of the booklet essay deals succinctly with the matter: ‘If the angels in heaven had to play music for God, then they’d play Bach. However, if it were to be for each other, I’m sure they would play Telemann.’ Having sounded a note of caution to the reader, I can fully commend the accomplished playing of Bergen Barokk. Its playing is sympathetic and stylish, and the music is enlivened by thoughtfully-articulated phrases and evident affection for the music.