Telemann and Molter: Flute and Oboe Quartets

Floral design

Camerata Bachiensis
Brilliant Classics 95621
Telemann: TWV43:F1, G12, C1 d2, TWV51:D (Premiere!)
Molter: MWV 9.19, 9.30, 9.16

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ccasionally, we stumble across a recording which perfectly reflects a dream selection, or notion of a splendid, imaginary concert. This is just such a recording. These fine works have been well chosen to display the qualities of the two composers’ artistic strengths and abilities, plus there’s a neat timeline conjunction too, where they passed each other a couple of times; particularly through Eisenach. Each would have been well aware of the other’s activities; indeed, a large number of Telemann’s cantatas were sent to Eisenach, even after his tenure there (1708-12). It is widely assumed in musicological circles that Telemann’s so-termed 4th Book of Quartets, published by Charles-Nicholas Le Clerc in Paris 1752, are actually revised versions of earlier quartets for strings, from the composer’s Frankfurt or early Hamburg period. Replacing the first violin with a flute turns these finely crafted works into a more familiar instrumentation for the Parisian ears and market, yet they exude some exuberant and delicate Italianate qualities. These are the best flute versions I have ever come across! Dazzling performances of three of the six quartets. (The original string versions can be found on MDG Label splendidly performed by Musica Alta Ripa)

The interspersed works by Molter give a most favourable impression of this oft-overlooked master, clearly a very competent exponent of the baroque musical idioms and forms. The Siciliana from the e-minor Sonata (MWV9.19) is quite beautifully defined, and the other works are most pleasing to the ear. The whole CD has caught the distilled refinements of each composer’s works and brought them together in a very fine programme of euphonic delights and melodious progressions, capped by the final concise Oboe Concerto TWV 51: D6, a nice premiere to boot! Highly polished, brilliant gems! (Pun intended!)

David Bellinger

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