Telemann: Fantaisies pour violon

Patrock Oliva
Triton Trihort 581

This 2023 recording enters the lists (all senses of that phrase!) and will find itself immediately in a considerable pile of top runners and also-rans. There must be nearly 80+ adventures in the interpretation of these 1735 works coming from Telemann’s “Selbstverlag” along with the flute and gamba fantasies. Patrick Oliva’s versions are respectful to the very letter of the movement markings, and as shown by the length of this recording the slower movements are a little ponderous, perhaps mildly introspective, contrasting thus with the faster passages. The playing feels rather compartmentalised, and one senses the player has chosen to mark out each section with his annotated intentions and phrases. Compared to Tomás Cotik (Centaur) and Alina Ibragimova (Hyperion) the timing element tells its own story, Patrick Oliva’s trajectory through these works lasts some 18 minutes more than the others. Again, this is a respectful interpretation with some pleasant contrasts, but does tend to languish in the slower passages. The galant effects found in the final six are respected without pushing the bar. I recently heard Rachel Podger live, playing the E minor piece (the sixth of the set); it was most captivating with elegant immediacy.

All in all, this is a fair recording, but may come around middle of my ever-expanding pile; when I last looked, at least three recordings were spawned per month! The sound quality is good and the booklet notes are very good, even a quote from J. J. Rousseau on the back of the CD.

David Bellinger

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