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.