Telemann: Twelve Fantasies For Solo Violin

Album cover art for upc 747313056378
Label: NAXOS
Catalog: 8570563
Format: CD

Augustin Hadelich

Wholenote Discoveries - May 2009
Like a musical wolf in sheep's clothing, the Telemann Fantasies lie in wait for the competent but unsuspecting amateur violinist searching for solo Baroque works less challenging than the Bach Sonatas and Partitas. I've been trying to play these things for over 35 years - which probably says more about my reluctance to practise and the relative balance of "competent" and "amateur" in my technique than anything else - and while Telemann clearly intended them for amateurs and students the deceptively straightforward writing is often quite angular and strewn with technical pitfalls. Composed in 1735, the Fantasies display elements of the Baroque sonata, concerto and suite, with limited two-part writing and less multiple stopping than the Bach; the 1968 Barenreiter edition, however - and with classic understatement - remarked that “the double stopping and chordal work can only be tackled by a competent player.” Augustin Hadelich's playing goes far beyond merely competent, making everything sound easy and natural without ever being trivial. The short, slow chordal passages could perhaps be embellished more - comparison with the solo Asseggai of Telemann's Swedish contemporary Johan Helmich Roman would certainly suggest this - but Hadelich's ornamentation is clean and unobtrusive. These are not the Bach solo works in any respect, leaning more towards Corelli than to Telemann's German contemporary, but they still have much to recommend them. Recorded in Newmarket by the regular Naxos team of Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver the sound quality is, as always, impeccable. Terry Robbins

Price: $19.98