LABELS: Chandos Chaconne
WORKS: Burlesque de Quixotte; Overture in G; Overture in B minor; Concerto in D, TWV 53:D4
PERFORMER: Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 0700
Over the years Chandos and Collegium Musicum 90 have done Telemann proud, nowhere more so than in this bright and lean recording of three little-known pieces – Overtures and Concerto – and the rather over-exposed Burlesque de Quixotte. This is a wittily descriptive suite based on Cervantes’s satirical hero. Standage subtly avoids labouring the jokes: Quixote’s sighs of love are heartfelt rather than risible, his tilting at windmills controlled rather than wildly headlong, and the sheer sound continues to delight long after the musical depictions have lost their novelty.
The Overtures are full of character, their French-style openings given lots of air, lively and splendidly clean in the following allegros. The G major work has a hypnotic chaconne with teasingly uneven phrase lengths, while the disarming melodies of its gavotte stick in the memory for days. Throughout, Telemann’s fertile imagination is astonishing: an unexpected cross-rhythm enlivens an otherwise conventional courante, two oboes above solo violin colour a dance-trio. But the high point of the disc is the opening of the Concerto, a charmingly lyrical movement with the bassoon interrupting with the simplest of repeated-note ostinatos.
Both performance and recording are a worthy tribute to the late Micaela Comberti, founder-member of Collegium Musicum 90, to whose memory the disc is dedicated. George Pratt