Elizabeth Wallfisch performs Violin Concertos by Telemann

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COMPOSERS: Telemann
LABELS: CPO
ALBUM TITLE: Telemann
WORKS: Violin Concertos, Vol. 6: in B flat, TWV 40:200; in A minor, TWV 51:a1; in F, TWV 55:F13; in B, TWV 55:h4
PERFORMER: Wallfisch Band/ Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: CPO 777 701-2

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Telemann’s prolific output is well represented on disc. But one of the four concertos selected here by Elizabeth Wallfisch is not otherwise available – and it’s the most fascinating. This solo violin concerto in F, TWV 55:F13, is married to a French Suite. It begins with a stirring ‘overture’ in the French style, a proudly strutting dotted-rhythm slow opening followed by a sparkling allegro interspersed with reflective moments – typical of Telemann’s ever-inventive mind. Among the following dances, the Minuet is hauntingly memorable, while the final gigue again reflects Telemann’s fervid imagination, alternating triple time sections with completely uncharacteristic duple time.

The following concerto, in B minor, again superimposes the solo virtuosity of an Italian concerto on a French Suite. A ‘Rejouissance’ is breathlessly fast and excitingly relentless, while the final movement, ‘Rodomontate’ derives its title from ‘a mover of mountains’ – effectively a swaggering Braggart.

Wallfisch plays the two opening three-movement concertos with characteristic flair and verve, supported by the Wallfisch Band, a mix of experienced strings and gifted younger players, a ‘master/apprentice’ ensemble – vital to ensure a continuing tradition of fine period playing. Their ensemble is splendidly taut, and their intonation well-nigh impeccable.

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George Pratt