Violin Concertos, Vol. 7: Overture-Suites in A, TWV 55:A8 & TWV 55:A4; Violin Concerto in G, TWV 51:G4
The Wallfisch Band/Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin)
CPO 777881-2 57:04 mins
After an interim of five years comes Volume 7 of Elizabeth Wallfisch’s excellent survey of Telemann’s violin concertos. Wallfisch evidently is leaving no stone unturned since, as enthusiasts for the series already will know, she has been including not only the violin concertos but also the ouverture-suites that feature a solo violin and, in a single instance, one of Telemann’s handful of concertos for two violins. I hope this is not the final instalment, since there is still enough material for at least one further disc in which one or two violins play a prominent part.
Telemann’s authorship of the two ouverture-suites included here is not confirmed; indeed, only occasionally do my ears detect any unmistakable hallmarks of his style. Whatever the truth may be, both pieces are plentifully endowed with alluring melodies and engaging dance metres. Wallfisch, as invariably, reaches the heart of the music without contrivance, pretension or gimmickry. Furthermore, contrary to a seemingly growing trend of playing minuets at a breakneck tempo, her performances are gracefully inflected to reveal both the elegant charm of the dance and her innate feeling for it.
While both ouverture-suites have been previously recorded the Concerto was new to me. Once again, much of the music is atypical of Telemann’s familiar style. The opening movement is of impressive content and dimension while the finale is a playful delight. These are performances to treasure by a responsive band of musicians directed by a violinist whose expressive warmth and intuitive gestures afford immense pleasure.