Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Overture-Suite in F major, TWV 55: F16 [19:47]
Concerto in D major, TWV 43: D4 [6:56]
Concert en Ouverture in A major, TWV 55: A7 [19:00]
Overture-Suite in D major, TWV 55: D23 [22:09]
Fanfare in D major, TWV 50: 44 [1:24]
Divertimento in E flat major, TWV 50: 21 [10:42]
Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage
rec. 16-18 November 2011, All Saints’ Church, East Finchley, London
Very few of Georg Philipp Telemann’s vast catalogue of compositions exist in autograph manuscript, though we shouldn’t be misled by the title of this CD. Perhaps it should be ‘Some Of’ the autograph scores rather than ‘The’, as of the eighteen extant these are only six. Of these, nine are from a collection belonging to Telemann’s grandson, who describes them as having been “composed in the 86th year of his life”.
Late works by an elderly gent these may be, but they show a close affinity with the fashionable French style demanded by his patron, and Telemann’s typical refinement and liveliness is ever-present, his occasional quirks and gestures allowed to poke through from time to time.
The Concert en Ouverture in A major and Concerto in D major come from earlier periods in Telemann’s career, the first being unusual for its solo violin part and the movements, essentially dance forms, all titled ‘Invention’. Now one of the grandees of the early music scene, Simon Standage shines with playful eloquence in this work. The latter Concerto is a youthful work, probably written before 1716 and full of sparkling harmonic invention and rhythmic energy.
There are some super moments in the other works, and the first movement of the Overture-Suite in F major immediately confronts us with some of those scarily exposed leading/passing notes whose logical place in the music only becomes apparent when the line resolves. There are two horns in this piece which led it a festive feel, and it’s a fine start to the programme. This work’s partner here is the Overture-Suite in D major, TWV 55: D23 which appears to be one of the last pieces Telemann wrote. Flutes and bassoon add sweetness and pungency to the strings and continuo, and the remarkable centre of the piece is a Plainte, which Nicholas Anderson points to has having a Purcellian character in his thorough and well written booklet notes. The Fanfare in D major, TWV 50: 44 is listed separately, though is arguably part of the Overture-Suite in D major, the inclusion of horns for just a single movement perhaps weighing against this conclusion.
The Divertimento in E flat major, TWV 50: 21 has flutes, horns, strings and continuo, the horns adding verisimilitude to the hunting references in the titles of some of the movements. This description of a hunt day includes La Conversation à la table in which we are perhaps invited to hear the flutes as the ladies, the jovial interjections of the horns the high-spirited gents. There is of course a galloping chase which however never seems in danger of catching any prey, and the whole occasion is rounded off with some stately dancing.
This is a fine and generously proportioned programme of some excellent Telemann, and very enjoyable indeed. The Chandos recording is crisp and detailed with the harpsichord continuo mixing nicely with the rest of the ensemble. Collegium Musicum 90’s performances are spirited and beautifully crafted.
Dominy Clements 
Very enjoyable indeed.