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Cat. No. CHAN 0661 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0661 - Telemann: Ouverture Comique
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Available From: 17 August 2000
During his long and productive life Telemann achieved international renown mainly through a wide dissemination of his music, which he often engraved himself, but also because his style was eclectic, moved with the times and was in many instances written as much for the taste and consumption of a growing bourgeoisie as for exclusive courtly entertainment of a wealthy aristocracy.

Telemann became thoroughly conversant with stylistic developments taking place in other European countries, notably France and Italy. He quickly assimilated their distinctive national traits, revealing early on in his life a particular affinity with the Italian trio sonata, the distinctive qualities of the French opera overture and the many stylised dances. Telemann’s contributions to these diverse genres were prolific, technically assured and, for the most part, highly imaginative.

Telemann derived particular pleasure from the French dance suite, or ‘ouverture’, finding in its flexible, multi-movement scheme an ideal outlet for the character pieces and vignettes of which he proved himself among the greatest masters outside France. He wrote many such pieces during a short period (c. 1705-7) as Hofkapellmeister to Count Erdmann von Promnitz.

The Ouverture in F sharp minor is scored for strings and continuo. Its character is predominantly French, as we would expect in a work of this type; but Telemann was masterly in his use of other stylistic elements as well and, as the movement titles suggest, national traits in music were a source of fascination to him. The modestly proportioned Concerto in A major for two oboes d’amore is amongst Telemann’s most intimately expressive concertos. The Concerto in E minor for recorder, flute and strings is justifiably one of Telemann’s most celebrated compositions, a highly successful juxtaposition of recorder and flute, and the old and new styles. The Violin Concerto in B flat major has Telemann’s preferred four movements as opposed to the more modern fast-slow-fast scheme established by Vivaldi.

The Ouverture in D major carries the title ‘Ouverture, jointes d’une Suite tragi-comique’ and is a sequence of tragicomical vignettes presented in contrasting pairs.
Reviews

‘Collegium Musicum 90’s authoritative accounts penetrate the spirit of Boyce’s music. These artists play with taste and finesse… Their blend and intonation are impeccable… and they dispatch the abundant fugues with an intelligence and panache that is inspiriting…’
‘The Strad’ on CHAN 0648(2) (Boyce)

‘Collegium Musicum 90’s stylish performances, distinguished by characterful phrasing and nimble rhythmic vivacity, add the final sheen to this captivating disc.’
‘BBC Music Magazine’ on CHAN 0647 (Vivaldi)

 

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