The 2013/14 season marked the end of Jeanne Lamon's tenure as Music
Director of Tafelmusik and henceforth she will serve in an advisory role. To
mark this in a more permanent form her record label asked her to compile a
disc that reflected her solo and leadership responsibilities on disc. That
label, incidentally, derives its name from her ensemble, and is in fact the
group's own, though it recorded for Sony and Analekta in past years and
their recordings are here too. Incidentally I'm never sure what the words
'Limited Edition' mean on a commercial CD like this but tend to assume,
unless there's evidence to the contrary, that they mean nothing.
This, then, is a seven-piece retrospective. It includes two pieces by
Bach, as one would have expected. The Double Concerto also features another
distinguished player in the ensemble, Linda Melsted, who reappears in the
performance of Biber's splendid Partita V from Harmonia
The Bach is finely articulated and the historically
informed playing remains elegant, precise and never outlandish. There are no
tempo concerns, and there's clarity and sufficient vigour in the finale The
other Bach piece is an arrangement of the Orchestral Suite in B minor, which
is reborn as the 'Suite in A minor for violin and strings, after BWV 1067',
in the spirit that 'Bach might, had he had the chance'. It is hardly
authentic in that sense but flies a kite nicely. There are two (genuine)
pieces by Geminiani even if the Op.5 No.3 Concerto grosso is 'after
Corelli'. This ensemble plays the composer well - somewhat
middle-of-the-road when it comes to sonority and accents, but effectively
nonetheless, with an especially beautiful body of tone.
It's good to be reminded of their performance of Schmelzer's delightful,
folklorically-infused Sonata 3, from Sonatae unarum fidium.
Four Seasons is remembered via Summer,
which is refined, athletic
but not volatile or out to make theatrical gestures. It remains on the
expressive side, well-judged.
There's a nice booklet note from Lamon and this may make a suitably
effective envoi from her, though the ensemble naturally carries on.
Masterwork Index: Bach double