Telemann: Complete Violin Concertos Vol. 6

Elizabeth Wallfisch, The Wallfisch Band
cpo 777 701-2
TWV 51:a1, 55: F13, h4, 40:200

This disc of two concertos proper and two “ouvertures in concerto style” was actually recorded way back in 2011; such is cpo’s extensive backlog that even fine performances – which form part of a very impressive series – must still wait five years for public consumption. The first work is essentially a concerto for four-part strings out of which a solo violin grows (TWV 40:200); the second (TWV 51:a1) also survives as an oboe concerto (and has appeared thus on a previous cpo disk), but is here given a very persuasive performance. For me, though, the most interesting music were the two overture-concertos (essentially, think the Bach “orchestral suites” with a solo violin part), both lasting over 20 minutes. The second is unfortunately referred to as a Concerto in B major on the cover (it’s actually in the minor), but the typo is the only thing wrong with it; Libby Wallfisch effortlessly emerges from the full band sound then blends marvellously back into it. This is all the more impressive when in concert (at least those I found online) she (and her fellow soloists) take the “modern” approach to concert giving by standing out front, but clearly she firmly believes in the primus inter pares approach to what is still essentially chamber music. I wonder how many more installments of this fabulous survey of Telemann’s concerted music with violin(s) remain in the cpo vaults for future release – I’m sure every single one of them will hold some new delight!

Brian Clark