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Frederick II ‘The Great’ (1712-1786)
Concerto for flute No. 3 in C major [14:06]
Georg Phillipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Concerto in E minor for flute and recorder [14:53]
Johan Friedrich FASCH (1688-1758)
Concerto in G major for flute and oboe [7:36]
Georg Phillipp TELEMANN
Concerto for flute in E minor for 2 flutes [11:30]
Konrad Hünteler, Günther Höller, Christoph Huntgeburth (flutes), Günther Höller (recorder), Helmut Hucke (oboe)
Capella Coloniensis/Ulf Björlin, Georg Fischer, Hans-Martin Linde
rec. 28 August 1985, 9 November 1987, 18 May 1988, Kulturzentrum, Lindlar and 8 July 1978, Oetkerhaller, Bielefeld, Germany
PHOENIX EDITION 172 [48:36]
Experience Classicsonline

This is a reissue of recordings of baroque flute concertos. They were made between 1978 and 1988. Frederick the Great, King of Prussia was a keen musician and a pupil of Quantz. He was a flute player/composer, and had his own 17-piece chamber orchestra. He wrote four flute concertos, with two of them currently readily available. I first encountered these concertos through German flute player Jost Nickel, who has made his own fine recording of the C major concerto. This is an enjoyable and well-written work, which has energy, bright melodies and impressive technical displays. It is heard here played by Konrad Hünteler on a baroque flute. The playing is good, and although the flute is quite quiet in the balance the sound is unforced and well phrased.

Telemann’s E minor concerto for flute and recorder is a rococo-style work, which makes a spectacular blend of sounds between the transverse baroque flute and the recorder. Played here by Hüntler with Günther Höller on recorder it is interesting to hear the directness of the recorder’s sound in comparison with the flute. The instruments are well balanced dynamically and the variety in sound brings the music to life. This effect would be completely different if played on modern instruments. The modern flute needs to be played sensitively in order to balance the recorder, and Telemann’s careful treatment of the instruments would perhaps be lost. This is a wonderful work in four movements, in which Telemann experiments with new musical ideas and scoring. The third movement is played with a lovely sense of the line and some imaginative and delicate ornamentation. The finale has an unexpected folk-music influence, with underlying pedal notes and the feel of a musette.

The recording of Fasch’s Concerto for Flute and Oboe is less convincing, with the semiquavers in the first movement feeling somewhat unsettled between the two solo lines. The contrast in sound between the flute and oboe is marked, and the difference in the natural speed of response of the instrument makes tight ensemble playing all the more difficult. The central movement is altogether more successful, although the flute is very quiet in the balance. A short Allegro brings the work to a close.

Telemann’s music returns, this time in the form of the Concerto for two flutes, which again uses the four movement form. A stately opening establishes Telemann’s musical language, the two solo lines once again blending as if to form one instrument. The soloists are allowed more polyphonic treatment in the second movement, a fleeting Presto with a solidly rhythmic bass line. The third movement is a brief cantabile with some adventurous harmonies and opulent suspensions. The work ends with a stylish Vivace in three, giving a lilting dance feel to the music. Unhurried, there is a lightness in the playing here which is highly enjoyable. Flute players Günther Höller and Christoph Huntgeburth are well balanced as soloists and give an enjoyable performance with the capable accompaniment of the Capella Coloniensis.

Carla Rees 

 
 


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