Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 REVIEW


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS


Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Telemann in the French style
Overture in e minor (TWV 55,e1) [24:48]
Trio in b minor (TWV 42,h5) [10:39]
Quartet in e minor (TWV 43,e4) [20:50]
Trio in e minor (TWV 42,e11) [12:20]
The Hanoverian Ensemble (John Solum; Richard Wynton (transverse flute); Krista Bennion Feeney; Claire Jolivet (violin); Monica Gerard (viola); Arthur Fiacco (cello); Jordan Frazier (double bass); Kent Tritle (harpsichord))
rec. 11-13 January 2008, Mary Anna Fox Martel Recital Hall, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA
MSR CLASSICS MS1309 [68:36]
Experience Classicsonline

In the 17th century Europe was under the spell of the Italian style. Composers went to Italy to learn the newest trends in music, and Italian musicians were received with enthusiasm in particular in Austria and Germany and given important jobs. That influence lasted well into the first quarter of the 18th century. But especially in the second half of the 17th century there were also German composers who felt more attracted to the French style. They were called 'Lullistes', because it was mainly Jean-Baptiste Lully whom they admired. Some even went to Paris to study with him. In the first half of the 18th century this influence still held, and many composers were inspired by the French style. Among them was Georg Philipp Telemann who had a strong liking for everything French. From this perspective the title of this disc is stating the obvious: Telemann's music was imbued with French musical ideas.

At the same time the title is bit misleading. As strong as the French influence in Telemann's music was, he mostly mixed the French taste with the Italian style. This 'goût réuni' was aimed at by most German composers, not only Telemann, but Bach, Fasch, Graupner and many others as well. In all compositions on this disc we find a mixture of French and Italian elements which is acknowledged in the programme notes.

The Overture belongs to the genre of the overture-suite. Its roots are in French opera, which usually started with an overture in three sections: a slow section in dotted rhythm, followed by a contrapuntal fast section after which the first section is repeated. This, and the instrumental dances from the opera, were often performed independently, and this was the model for the overture-suite which was hugely popular in Germany. Telemann wrote many of them, and this Overture is just one of the three which open every 'Production' of the collection which was published under the title 'Musique de table'. This Overture is from the first 'Production', and it has solo parts for two transverse flutes and two violins. This fact is a clear indication of the Italian influence, as well as how they develop their dialogues.

In 1737-38 Telemann stayed eight months in Paris, and here he published his six Nouveaux quatuors. Even these are not entirely French. This can be explained by the fact that the French had embraced the Italian style at last. They liked Vivaldi very much; Michel Corrette even used one of the concertos from his 'Four Seasons' for a motet on the text of Psalm 148. And most French composers were writing in the same 'goût réuni' that Telemann and other German composers preferred. So it doesn't surprise that Telemann's music went down well in France. He pays tribute to the French by concluding the quartet with a chaconne - entitled 'modéré' -, a musical form which no French opera could do without.

These two pieces belong to the better-known works of Telemann. This disc also contains two trios which are far less familiar. They belong to a set of trios which Johann Joachim Quantz, teacher of King Frederick the Great, referred to as written "alla Francese" (in the French style). He used the Trio in e minor as teaching material. They were advertised by the publisher Breitkopf as late as 1763, which is remarkable considering that they were probably composed before 1712. Both trios are in four movements: slow - fast - slow - fast. As much as they were written in the French style, according to Quantz, they also contain Italian elements, like imitation between the parts and a considerable sense of drama.

I think it is fair to say that there is a bit too much familiar repertoire here. The Overture and the Quartet which have been frequently recorded before and are regularly played at concert platforms, take about three-quarter of this disc. I didn't know the two trios, and I don't think they are easily available on disc. This production had been more worthwhile if the programming had been more adventurous.

And - I have to add - if the performances had been more adventurous as well. To put it bluntly: they are pretty dull. I have heard the Overture numerous times in much more lively and vibrant performances than here. The fast section of the overture (vite) is too slow and as a result there is too little contrast with the slow sections. The rhythms of the dance movements, for instance the rondeau, are not very marked. Especially in the passepied I noted how few impulses the players receive from the basso continuo. And the last movement, a gigue, is rather bland and not very dance-like.

I also noted a lack of differentiation. The repeated motifs in the last movement of the Trio in b minor are always pretty much the same. In the slow introduction of the Quartet in e minor there is very little differentiation in the figurations in the violin part. That part is also the weakness of the performance as the violinist doesn't produce a very nice sound: it is often shrill and scratchy. The next movement is called 'gai' (cheerful), but that is not how it sounds here. The Trio in e minor begins with a movement, called 'tendrement', but very tender it is not; it rather lacks subtlety. The next movement, 'viste gai' (fast and cheerful), is too slow, and the last movement (allegrement) lacks depth and expression.

All in all this disc fails to communicate the beauty and expression of Telemann's music. There are still people who think that his music is mostly uninteresting, easy-listening stuff which goes in one ear and goes out the other. They will probably find their prejudices being confirmed by this disc. And I am sure that was not the intention.

Johan van Veen


 
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.