Telemann: Concerto in E minor for recorder, flute & strings; Violin Concerto in B flat; Overtures in F sharp minor & in D; Concerto in A for two oboes d’amore

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COMPOSERS: Telemann
LABELS: Chandos Chaconne
WORKS: Concerto in E minor for recorder, flute & strings; Violin Concerto in B flat; Overtures in F sharp minor & in D; Concerto in A for two oboes d’amore
PERFORMER: Peter Holtslag (recorder), Rachel Brown (flute), Anthony Robson, James Eastaway (oboe d’amore); Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 0661
Telemann’s Overture in D is a late work, dating from 1763. The music is delightfully fresh and witty but the subject matter hints at the concerns of old age – pairs of movements depict various ailments and their remedies. So a halting Loure, strings wincing with pain, illustrates gout, while the subsequent Minuet-Rondeau offers an ‘experimental’ cure in dancing and coach-travel. Though the intent is humorous, Telemann himself pointedly called the suite ‘tragi-comique’, which perhaps implies the octogenarian composer had wryly portrayed his own failing health in the music.

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The Overture in F sharp minor, for strings, is a more low-key affair, showing Telemann’s skill in blending various national musical traits into his own personal style. But the three concertos – for recorder and flute, for violin, for two oboes d’amore – are all enchanting works, and Nicholas Anderson is surely right to suggest in his notes that the latter, with a third movement Siciliano that sounds like a cradle-song, could have been written as a Christmas concerto. Soloists are outstanding throughout and performances are generally sharp and expressive, maintaining the high standards Collegium Musicum 90 have set on their previous Telemann recordings. Warmly recommended. Graham Lock