Daily Classical Review (UK)I can but admire, however, the remarkable variety of tone Michala Petri obtains from her instrument, as also the dynamic range. There is not the slightest hint of monotony.
Handel was only sixteen when he first met Telemann. They remained in touch, and Handel later sent him from London a selection of rare plants. Telemann was godfather to Bach's second son and wrote a fine poem after Johann Sebastian's death. Since then Telemann's reputation has wavered. Here he sounds an occasionally plangent note, but for the most part is content to be playful and skittish. The result is delectable listening. The first sonata from 'The Trusty Music master' starts with the sort of fireworks Telemann could let off almost without thinking.
It is a major pleasure, as it were, when Telemann decides to languish into the minor. His F minor sonata in the same set begins 'Triste', and the mood is maintained throughout the third-movement Andante. This gives Michala Petri, who has demonstrated already a formidable technique in dazzling passagework, the chance to show how expressively she can also play.
I can only think back ruefully to my own recorder-playing days, inspired all those years ago by the comparatively modest performances of the Dolmetsch family.
Telemann remains a little mournful in the first of his 'Music Study' sonatas, even when proceeding at speed. I now began to wonder whether the balance between recorder and Anthony Newman's harpsichord was not tilted too much towards the former. A cello to reinforce the bass line would have been appropriate and helpful.
I can but admire, however, the remarkable variety of tone Michala Petri obtains from her instrument, as also the dynamic range. There is not the slightest hint of monotony.
It is joyous to end with the sheer virtuosity of the final Vivace on the CD, in which Telemann throws down the gauntlet of a fearsome technical challenge. The performance is indeed triumphant.
It is worth adding a word of commendation for the admirable liner notes of Joshua Cheek. For once I felt no need to surround myself with a pile of reference books, and basked happily in the midst of much apposite writing. I agree that 'Ehrenpforte' means 'Triumphal Arch', but in context 'Roll of Honour' might just be preferable. I greatly appreciated the title to his piece: 'A Telemann for All Seasons'. I could not ask more. Robert Anderson, February 2014