Telemann: Suites and concertos for recorder

Telemann: Suites and concertos for recorder
Erik Bosgraaf, Ensemble Cordevento
Brilliant Classics 95248. 75’46

Suite in E-flat, TWV 55:Es2; Suite in A minor, TWV 55:a2;
Concerto in F, TWV 51:F1; Concerto in C, TWV 51:C1.

Telemann: Complete Suites and Concertos for RecorderTelemann taught himself to play the recorder, violin and zither before the age of 10, and continued to practice the recorder well into his teens – something very few youngsters do today. He seems to have retained a love for the recorder, judging by the number of pieces he wrote for it, including these Suites and Concertos. Incidentally, the two Suites are both titled Ouverture in their manuscripts, and are examples of Telemann’s so-called concert en ouverture style of composition, which combines elements of the traditional suite with the overture. Apart from the E-flat suite (which is intended for the flute pastorelle, which perhaps means the panpipes), all the music is from the same manuscript surviving in the Hesse Court library in Darmstadt, suggesting that they were composed for Michael Böhm, Telemann’s brother-in-law and a virtuoso woodwind player. They are all written for alto recorder.

Both types of piece reflect Telemann’s cross-cultural inspiration, taking bits of French and Italian style with a dollop of the inevitable Polish influence. Continue reading

Tabea Debus: Cantata per Flauto

Cantata per Flauto
Tabea Debus & Ensemble
TYXart TXA15060. 73’01

Hasse: Cantata per Flauto; Tsoupaki: Charavgi für Blockflöte; van Eyck: Variations on ‘Come again, sweet love doth now invite’; Sarro: Concerto in d-moll; Jarzebski: Diligam Te Domine, Venite Exultemus; Töpp: a due; Telemann: Concerto in C; Purcell: An Evening Hymn.

Tabea Debus - Cantata Per Flauto, CDFollowing her first CD, Upon a Ground (reviewed here), recorder player Tabea Debus here works with a larger group of instruments and with a wider range of music, including two pieces by present-day composers.  The first track (the opening of Hasse’s Cantata per Flauto – a recent discovery, found in the collection of the Viceroy of Naples) sets the mood perfectly, and makes it absolutely clear why you will love this CD. Tabea Debus’s spirited, virtuosic and musically compelling playing is immediately obvious, as is her evident sense of humour, demonstrated in this case by an extraordinary sense of articulation and phrasing and a lovely little cadenza. In the second movement Adagio, the recorder weaves a complex musical line, elaborated by ornaments (many presumably improvised) in the manner of an operatic aria. This reflects the CD’s title and principal focus: of the recorder as a ‘singing’ or ‘vocal’ instrument, closely linked to the human voice, and the Continue reading

As our sweet Cords with Discords mixed be: English Renaissance Consort Music

As our sweet Cords with Discords mixed be: English Renaissance Consort Music
Consortium5
Resonus RES10155. 67’15

Music by Robert Parsons, William Byrd, John Dowland, Christopher Tye, Edward Blankes, Jerome Bassano, William Brade and Antony Holborne 

There are some people, even in the fairly rarefied early music world, who would rather pluck out their eyes than listen to a recorder consort. In normal circumstance I would just warn such people that this probably isn’t the CD for them. But this is an exception that might convert some doubters. Consortium5 (Oonagh Lee, Kathryn Corrigan, Gail Macleod, Roselyn Maynard, Emily Bloom) have established themselves as some of the most exciting and committed performers of early and contemporary music on recorders. And this CD demonstrates why they deserve that reputation.  Continue reading