Telemann: Violin Sonatas

Arsenale Sonoro (Boris Begelman violin, Ludovico Minasi cello, Alexandra Koreneva harpsichord)
63:55
deutsche harmonia mundi 88875061582
TWV41: C1, d5*, d6*, e8*, G10*, g1, A1 & Fantasia in b TWV 40:22

This magnificent CD arrived just too late to be included in last month’s summary of new recordings. Boris Begelman’s introductory essay focusses on the contribution of the performer to the success of Baroque music, considering the way different styles of improvised ornamentation can transform the same piece in the hands of different musicians. While he is rarely as adventurous as the extract from the Sonate methodiche printed in the booklet (has anyone actually recorded such heavily laden performances?), he is not afraid to get into Telemann gypsy mode, or to add wonderfully stylish cadential flourishes in the solo fantasia, and his Arsenale Sonoro colleagues are similarly resourceful in interpreting this fine, yet still little-known (in the case of the pieces marked with asterisks in the list above totally unknown) repertoire. Telemann may have a reputation for writing nice music for his wealthy amateur admirers, but there are several pieces here that neither the Grauns nor the Bendas would have been ashamed of; we should remember, too, that Telemann also wrote for some of the best violinists of his day, so the technical difficulties are not inconsiderable! Begelman of course rises above all the challenges and really gets under the skin of this music. With partners of the calibre of Minasi and Koreneva, his beautifully considered interpretations reveal yet another facet of Telemann’s oeuvre and should be obligatory listening to anyone studying baroque violin.

Brian Clark