Il Gardellino perform Telemann’s Concertos for wind instruments

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LABELS: Etcetera
WORKS: Concertos for wind instruments, TWV 52 e:1; TWV 52 e:3; TWV 52 a:1; TWV 51 f:1: TWV 44:43
PERFORMER: Il Gardellino


Telemann’s impressive stylistic range  is evident in these five colourfully contrasted concertos. Each features one or more woodwind instruments, most often the transverse flute. The best-known and one of the composer’s most popular is the E minor Concerto for treble recorder, flute and strings. Its deft and fully idiomatic part writing reminds us that Telemann was a skilled player of both instruments. The slow movements are limpid and transparent in texture while the finale is derived from a dance still recognised in Poland today. Il Gardellino favours unusually legato articulation which saps the piece of some of its energy.

The Concerto in E minor for flute and violin has a lyrical adagio and a short virtuosic movement for violin, while the D major Flute Concerto concludes with a pair of catchy menuets. More substantial is the Concerto for recorder and viola da gamba, Telemann, an accomplished gambist, writing sympathetically and intuitively for both protagonists. In three movements instead of Telemann’s predilection for four is a concerto for three oboes, three violins and continuo whose high spirits and canonic conceits are a constant delight. All these are played with panache and stylistic assurance.


Nicholas Anderson