Telemann Suite in F; Concerto in F; Concerto in D; Air de trompette in C; March in F; Anonymous Rostocker Suite in E flat; M Fiedler Concerto à 3 in E flat
Philippe Canguilhem (oboe), Jean Chamboux (drum); Ensemble Eolus
Ricercar RIC 397 57:48 mins
Ensemble Eolus is a wind band consisting of trumpet, two horns, two oboes, bassoon and harpsichord. Its debut disc consists of music by Telemann, Maximilian Fiedler – a German contemporary of his – and an anonymous suite of the same period. The programme is attractive and, by and large, off the beaten track. While it is not, however, of even merit, the strongest items provide a robust framework for slender pieces which might stand less convincingly on their own.
Telemann’s Ouverture-Suite in F major for two horns, two oboes and bassoon is one of nine such pieces for various configurations of wind instruments. A Concerto in F for two oboes and bassoon, attributed to Telemann, is of greater musical interest. Its close melodic similarity to a concerto for two oboes d’amore and strings, TWV2:A1, indisputably by the composer argues persuasively for Telemann’s authorship. It is the Concerto in D major for trumpet, two oboes and continuo, though, which crowns the programme. Here, Telemann demonstrates his innate skill in writing idiomatically and sensitively for wind instruments and especially, perhaps, oboes. Its four movements, the third of which – a siciliano – excludes the trumpet, are an unflagging delight, full of subtle and rewarding resonances. Ensemble Eolus, with their period instruments and historically-informed approach to the music, provide a lively and affectionate account throughout. There are occasional tonal insecurities of the kind we expect from natural horns and trumpets but there is much to enjoy on this sympathetically recorded and well documented release. Nicholas Anderson