Magazine article Gramophone

Telemann: 12 Fantaisies Pour la Basse De Violle

Magazine article Gramophone

Telemann: 12 Fantaisies Pour la Basse De Violle

Article excerpt

Telemann

12 Fantaisies pour la basse de violle

Thomas Fritzsch va da gamba

Coviello (F) COV91601 (83' * DDD)

Last October it was announced that a copy of Telemann's 12 fantasias for solo viola da gamba, known to have been published in 1735 but presumed forever lost, had been unearthed in a private collection by the gambist Thomas Fritzsch. Their apparent loss had been particularly galling because by 1735 the gamba was well on its way out of fashion, meaning that Telemann would have needed to pull out all his compositional stops if the pieces for this increasingly endangered instrument were to sell. So this premiere recording of the collection, performed by Fritzsch himself, feels like a big deal.

The first thing to say is that, musically, these were worth the wait. Telemann presents a cornucopia of broken chords, unison and contrapuntal writing, passagework and even some plucking; there's also a nod to the fashion tussle of the time between the fugal and the galant style, with Telemann employing a mixture of the two, much as Bach was to do a few years later with his second book of The Well-Tempered Clavier. …

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