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International Record Review

Nicholas Anderson

Telemann New
Complete Sonatas for Recorder and
Basso Continuo.
Der getreue Music-Meister – F, TWV41:
F2; B flat, TWV41:B3; F minor, TWV41:f1;
C, TWV41:C2. Essercizii Musici – D minor,
TWV41:d4; TWV41:C, C5.
Michala Petri (recorder); Anthony Newman
(harpsichord).
OUR Recordings 8.226909 (full price, 45 minutes).
Website www.ourrecordings.com. Producer Preben
Iwan. Engineer Steve Epstein. Date February 15th,
2013.
While Telemann has left a variety of chamber music where the recorder, descant or treble, plays a prominent role, only six sonatas are known by him for treble recorder and continuo. It is these hich
the Danish recorder virtuoso Michala Petri with harpsichordist Anthony Newman plays on this ewly recorded disc. Four of the sonatas come from Telemann’s enterprising music periodical Der getreue Music-Meister.This was a fortnightly publication promoted by subscription, which Telemann ran
profitably during 1728 and 1729. The remaining two sonatas belong to a musically more ambitious chamber instrumental collection published c.1739 under the title Essercizii Musici. Indeed, it contains some of the composer’s finest pieces in the sphere of trio and continuo sonata, as the two pieces here amply demonstrate. Petri’s musicianship is probably familiar to most devotees of the recorder and of midto late-Baroque repertoire. Virtues, among which are her evenly produced sound, nimble fingerwork and sense of fun, abound in her approach to these sometimes technically exacting works. Yet at the same time there is a seemingly wilful, even old-fashioned conservatism which manifests itself in an adherence to modern concert pitch, in patterns of ornamentation favoured by older generations of recorder players such as Ferdinand Conrad and by the absence of a bass stringed instrument in the continuo. In short, these are performances as far removed from the erstwhile avant-garde of Frans Bruggen, Kees Boeke or Peter Holtslag as you could imagine. A cello or a bass viol is not, of course, essential but it does add a pleasing dimension to the texture.
Newman’s harpsichord realizations are fluent and imaginative, though I did not always respond favourably either to the sound of the instrument or the registration. Readers may be wondering if I have enjoyed this recital. The answer is yes, though I do feel there is more to the music than we are allowed to share here. Two of the pieces, the canonic Sonata in B flat, TWV41:B3 and the Sonata in F minor, TWV41:f1 can be played on various other instruments. In the case of the F minor work Telemann seems to have had a bassoon foremost in mind but, while he specified the recorder as an alternative, the music’s dark colours, notably affecting in the opening ‘Triste’, makes the bassoon the more persuasive instrument. The recorded sound is clear and ideally resonant and the booklet contains an informative note by an unidentified author. Nicholas Anderson, February 2014

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