Rachel Podger, leader of the well travelled The English Consort, one of the very best baroque violinists now before the public in UK, and extensively on CD, offers a welcome alternative to the ubiquitous unaccompanied suites and sonatas of J.S. Bach which are played and recorded so regularly. She discovers untold riches in Telemann's twelve solo Fantasias, which are free and unpredictable, with brief movements of the composer's choice grouped in threes or fours.
In her insert note, Rachel Podger describes how" – good ideas chase each other in vibrant fast movements, or unfold reflectively in poignant slow movements – unconnected ideas stand next to each other – motifs, rhythms, sequences of intervals and melodic lines change direction and character at a whim – Telemann himself was a good violinist and they are written sympathetically for the violin, grateful to play and a delight to hear. Using the apparently limited instrumentation of a single violin, Telemann presents the listener with a real treasure trove of expressive devices, emotions, and inventive rhythms. Indeed, these Fantasias for solo violin truly support Telemann's characteristic pronouncement: 'If nothing novel can be found in the melody, then one searches for it in the harmonies".
This impeccably produced recording and generously filled CD leaves one amazed that such delectable music is so little known. Recommended warmly, ideal for late night listening.
Rachel Podger's notes are reproduced in full on the Channel Classics New Releases webpage and there are sound extracts to whet your appetite.
Copyright © 2002, Peter Grahame Woolf