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Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Sonate à flauto solo
Sonatas: G minor, TWV41:d3; C, TWV41:A5; B minor, TWV41:A5; F, TWV41:F3; G minor, TWV41:e11; D minor, TWV41:d4
Tripla Concordia (Lorenzo Cavasanti, recorders; Sergio Ciomei, harpsichord;
Caroline Boersma, cello)
rec. Church of the Confraternity of Saints Rocco and Sebastian, Cumiana, Italy ARCANA A433 [56:14]
After the Itinéraire Baroque Festival of 2017 focusing on Telemann, on which I reported here, it seems only natural to set to work on this collection of Trio Sonatas. In an output as vast as Telemann’s it seemed too much to hope for an actual overlap of repertoire: and so it was to be.
All six sonatas here are cast in the same slow-fast-slow-fast format. The first, G minor TWV41:d3, begins with a typically gentile Andante; yet the ostinato bass line seems more achingly chromatic than one might expect. The second movement Allegro assai is beautifully sprightly here, while the Largo offers a moment of introspection. The sprightly finale offers the most civil conversation between recorder and cello.
Incidentally, the seeming contradiction in key and catalogue number is that this is transposed into G minor from a D minor original. The same applies to the second offering, in C major but originally in A major. Both the first two sonatas are performed on an alto recorder, the first flamed boxwood (by Philippe Laché 2016, after Tomas Stanesby, London, c1700), the second boxwood and ivory, which seems to have a more burnished tone (by Friedrich von Huene 1983, after Jaob Denner, Nürnberg, c1720). Although the sonata is cast in the same pattern of movements, the weighting is different. The four movements were largely equidurational for TWV41:d3; here, for TWV41:A5, the weight is firmly on the last movement; the timings are 1:37; 2:05; 2:43; 5:14. The sonata actually has a palpable trajectory that moves towards that finale, with the third movement, marked Andante semplicemente, actually moving more and more towards interior expression. The finale itself, simply marked Allegro, is constructed as an operatic da capo aria in pastoral vein, even including a drone. The performances capture not only the different characteristics of the music, but its very essence.
The Sonata in B minor, which retains its key, is performed on a deep-toned maple tenor recorder (again by Philippe Laché after a Bressan & Stanesby, London, c1710). The choice of recorder suits the first movement, a gentle Tardi e semplicamente with counterpoint that seems to emerge quietly and naturally; the ideal predecessor to the fugal writing that follows in the ensuing Vivace, one of only three fugal movements in the “XII Solos” that make up this collection. It is a surprise to hear a French Overture next in the Pomposo, beautifully eloquently done by Tripla Concordia. Another drone—or bagpipe—invocation sets the finale off on its sprightly course; Lorenzo Cavasanti pipes valiantly over the recurrence of the drone. A superbly characterful performance.
The use of a soprano recorder for TWV41:F3 offers a performance of much eloquence on a granadilla and ivory instrument (by Luca de Paolis 2010 after a Denner of c1720). This Sonata is notable for its dignified Sarabande, which the booklet note annotator Steven Zohn isolates as “neo-Corellian”; it comes after a galant second movement. The finale pipes away with abandon. One almost does not notice the sheer excellence of ensemble in this performance; it is just so together.
Another transposition next, the Solo in G minor, originally in E minor. The work’s provenance is uncertain, its single source being in an MS collection in Brussels. It was unpublished in Telemann’s time. Perhaps the opening Andante was considered—by whom, one conjectures … Telemann? a publisher?—as being too interior and therefore progressive. Like the final Sonata, this piece is performed on alto recorder, bringing the disc full circle. This one is a maple alto recorder (Laché after Denner, c1720). The G minor ends with a Tempo di Menuet after a Presto that shows virtuoso tendencie,s and a Grave that in its short duration of 1:23 actually touches deeply.
The final D minor sonata is on a boxwood and ivory instrument (by de Paolis after Pierre Jaillard Bressan, London, c1710). It opens with a delicious Affetuoso, stately and dignified and with an ornate harpsichord contribution from Sergio Ciomei. The drama of the Grave in this Sonata is really quite shocking in context, with its hyperactive harpsichord.
Lorenzo Cavasanti states in the booklet that he chose his instruments carefully based on timbral suitability to the various sonatas, and that strategy pays off. His playing, like that of his colleagues, is of the very highest level, his tuning excellent. Sergio Clomei plays on a 1983 Flavio Delleplane after an anonymous German instrument of the first half of the eighteenth century. Giuseppe Maletto’s recording is expertly managed, not too close yet reproducing the instrumental timbres impeccably.