Telemann: Frankfurt Sonatas

Gottfried von der Goltz violin, Annekatrin Beller cello, Torsten Johann harpsichord/positive organ, Tomas C. Boysen theorbo
Aparté AP21

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This is only the third time these finely crafted sonatas, reputedly Telemann’s first publication, have appeared on CD (Stephan Schardt got there first for MDG in 2014 and Valerio Losito followed on Brilliant Classics in 2017). Spearheaded by the impressive skills of Gottfried von der Goltz, you can sense the sheer artistic relish and appreciation for the neat progressions through the boldly contrasting movements which offer some vivacious artistic flourishes, as well as moments of great theatre and pathos. By this time, Telemann had written about 10 operas for Leipzig, and you can hear the wistful, lovelorn motifs in the slower movements lifted directly from the stage. This delightful set of six sonatas was dedicated to Prince Johann Ernst IV of Sachsen-Weimar (who sadly passed within a year of their publication), the foreword grandiloquently noting at the very bottom in French: At the author’s expense!

The truly wonderful continuo team here is allowed to star alongside the dominant violin part, and do all share the limelight at some stage. The use of a positive organ really hits the mark with a particular reverence and piety. These works flow between the two kinds of sonata style with a well-measured intensity and balance. The high-flying runs of semiquavers in the finales of Sonatas III and IV are a touch of free-flowing virtuosity. With a perfect feel for tempo and the desired application of Affekte, the ensemble navigates these cleverly conceived sonatas with intelligent application and balanced variation.

A very fine, well-balanced interpretation all round. We fervently hope they might decide tackle the long-languishing 1718 set, awaiting full premiere status, before too long!

David Bellinger

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