> Georg Philipp Telemann - Sonate Metodiche [KM]: Classical CD Reviews- Jun2002 MusicWeb(UK)






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Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Sonate Metodich

Sonata in G minor
Sonata in A major
Sonata in E minor
Sonata in D major
Sonata in A minor
Sonata in G major
Sonata in B minor
Sonata in C minor
Sonata in E major
Sonata in B flat major
Sonata in D minor
Sonata in C major
Konrad Hünteler, flute
Rainer Zipperling, cello
Carsten Lohff, harpsichord
Rec: March, September 2001, Fürstliche Reicbahn, Bad Arolsen.
MD&G 311 1110-2 [2CDs: 126.30]


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Georg Philipp Telemann was one of the most prolific composers of baroque music in Germany. Her wrote literally hundreds of cantatas, as well as operas and small- and large-scale instrumental music. The Sonate Metodiche (Methodical Sonatas) were written to be performed either by solo flute or violin, and the score showed ornaments for the music below the staves with the melodies. This meant that musicians could either improvise ornaments, or use those suggested by the composer.

This recording features these works played with a solo flute, and, listening to the music, one may find it hard to imagine how it would sound on the violin - though, perhaps, at faster tempi it would sound better. The slow movements sound much too slow for the violin, though they fit the flute perfectly.

The first six sonatas are in the strict Italian four-movement form - slow-fast-slow-fast. The second set is much freer, and are all in five movements. The music here is a bit simple, lacking in any profound musicality, but makes for an agreeable two hours listening. The excellent sound of the instruments and the recording help make it so, but I cannot but think that this music was written more for pedagogical reasons than for musical reasons. When the first set of six sonatas was published in 1728, an advertisement said that these sonatas were "very useful to those who want to apply themselves to cantabile ornaments".

Telemann has certainly written music that is more engaging than this. While flautists may be interested in this set, I cannot find it very exciting or compelling. The fine recording cannot bring this music to life, unfortunately.

Kirk McElhearn


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