One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos






CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Music for Oboe
The Twelve Fantasias
Suite in G minor for Oboe and Continuo Basso from "Der getreue Music-Meister"
Heinz Holliger (oboe); Klaus Thunemann (bassoon); Christiane Jaccottet (harpsichord)
rec. no details supplied
REGIS RRC1343 [70:00]

Experience Classicsonline

Heinz Holliger is an important advocate of the music of Telemann, but he's not averse to taking liberties now and then. The main body of this programme is 'The Twelve Fantasias', better known as the Twelve Fantasias for Solo Flute. And not only does he play them on an oboe, but it is a modern oboe using modern articulation techniques.

Consummate musicianship is his saving grace, and the sheer elegance of these recordings should endear them to all but the most trenchant of period performance fundamentalists. Yes, there is a considerable amount of vibrato, and some of the tempi are extreme, but the interpretation of each of the short works is impressively coherent, and the technical proficiency of the playing is unparalleled. Writing for the oboe, I suspect Telemann would have focused on the lower register, but the top end holds few horrors for Holliger, whose rich tone is almost equally apparent above the stave as it is lower down.

Many of the Fantasias are divided into a number of very short movements, usually with very little thematic or tonal contrast between them. This allows Holliger to make the most of the metre and tempo contrasts without compromising the integrity of the whole. You'll often find, for example, a slow, strident introduction of only a few bars, then cutting seamlessly into a courtly dance. Telemann doesn't emphasise endings in the same way as he does beginnings, and Holliger is impressively restrained in the ornamented ralls that he adds to many of the cadences.

Ornamentation, when it comes, tends to be quite deliberate, for example slow trills with every note emphasised. But ornamentation is the exception rather than the rule, so these more emphatic gestures do not overly intrude. Likewise with the vibrato, which only really comes into play on the longer, louder notes, but when it is there you know about it, as it is wide, slow and emphatic.

The recorded sound is good, although the microphones are set a little too close and much of the fast passage-work is interrupted by the sound of the keys. I don't think the recording is particularly old - the liner doesn't give a date - so I'm not sure how much the tone has changed through the process of re-mastering. However, there is a brightness to the tone which borders on the abrasive at times, a consequence, perhaps of overzealous cleaning.

The healthy running time of 70 minutes is made up with a Suite in G minor, in which Holliger is joined by a continuo team of bassoon and harpsichord. Again, this is Telemann in modern dress, the ensemble going for a comfortable tafelmusik atmosphere rather than for any of the austerities imposed by period performance aesthetics. It is a technically proficient ensemble, and like Holliger himself, the bassoon and harpsichord refrain from excessive ornamentation. In other circumstances, I could imagine a more equitable sound balance, but mix here really emphasises the oboe as solo instrument. And again, the limited contrast of keys and themes between the movements is balanced by clearly delineated tempos changes. A punchy, lively and elegant conclusion to a masterly Telemann programme.

Gavin Dixon





































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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
Web Ring
Translation Service

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

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.