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Telemann: Double Concerti For Winds And Strings / Schwarz, Rebel

Telemann / Rebel / Schwarz
Release Date: 11/12/2013 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9421   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann
Conductor:  Jorg-Michael Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rebel (Baroque Ensemble)
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



TELEMANN Concertos: for Flute and Violin in e TWV 52:e3 ; for 2 Violins in G TWV 52:G1 ; for Trumpet and Violin in D TWV 53:D5 ; for 2 Flutes and Bassoon in e TWV 52:e2 ; for 2 Violins in G TWV 52:G2 ; for Recorder and Flute in e TWV 52:e1 Jörg-Michael Schwarz, cond; Rebel Read more (period instruments) BRIDGE 9421 (64:40)


Telemann and Vivaldi were, at least in modern eyes, the masters of the double concerto during the late Baroque. Both wrote copious amounts of music for what seems like every conceivable combination that one can imagine (and perhaps a few where even imagination falters), all dexterously composed to show off the combinations of colors that could be wonderfully copasetic or contrasting, depending upon those chosen. Vivaldi’s style was generally the wave of the future, with its three-movement format and sometimes formulaic structure. Telemann, on the other hand, offers a variety of forms and styles, as if he was content to experiment with such matters throughout his long life (which, of course, he did). As a result, the works are somewhat eclectic, but this does not detract from their almost infinite variety. This disc has gathered together a handful of pieces for various combinations, ranging from the rather common pair of solo violins to a triple concerto for two flutes (here labeled “traverso”) and bassoon, all against the usual string orchestra ripieno.


This disc has some interesting features, such as the low pitch (415 Hz) and a tuning temperament of the French 1/5 comma meantone, which lends the music a more edgy feel. Beyond this, the early music group Rebel (pronounced apparently re-BEL, perhaps rebelling against the usual manner of performing such concertos with a larger orchestra instead of implying that they are former members of the Confederate army or some such maverick group in the musical world) uses its membership to perform both as orchestra and soloists, which in turn gives the music a more intimate and perhaps up-front feeling. Unfortunately, I did not find the booklet notes much use at all when it comes to explaining Telemann’s style, and the notion that he was a reticent composer of concertos does go against the grain, given the enormous amount of attention he devoted to the genre.


The majority of the works are in his usual four-movement format; only TWV 52:e3 and 53:D6 deviate from this. The first has five movements and the latter conforms to the Vivaldian three. The former is considered an “early” work, but it is really not relevant, for within the short movements Telemann shows that he knows his stuff. The unison theme of the opening could have been written by Vivaldi, as could the floating second movement with its pizzicato strings and ethereal solo flute and violin line. In the middle of all this is a furious Presto in which the violins scurry all over the place, only to wind up the piece, after a suitable lamento interlude, with a nice piece of counterpoint. The D-Major three-movement work revolves around a solo trumpet, but the composer is conservative in his use of the instrument. Indeed, the dotted opening is quite French, but he soon moves into the more triadic galant . The Finale, again following a suitably solemn lamento, might have been written by Handel, so similar are the contours of the lines and the use of the various stereotypical devices. The E-Minor Concerto for a pair of flutes opens with a nicely smooth Siciliano that rhythmically regularizes itself into a steady set of ostinatos, while the jaunty Finale is pure Polish, replete with off-beat accentuation and alla polacca rhythms. For the oft-recorded Flute and Recorder Concerto, one finds Telemann at his best, using the bright tone of the latter to offset the richer overtones of the former in a fine sense of virtuoso display. It too concludes with a rollicking Polish Finale, only here a country hurdy-gurdy is brought to mind with the slightly skewed dance rhythms. The only conservative piece in the bunch is the duo Violin Concerto (TWV 52:G1), which seems quite like a Corelli imitation with its opening suspensions and fugal second movement. Although Telemann does insert a Sarabande and a Gigue at the end, the writing is quite conventional, even though he does use only violas as the “orchestral” upper strings.


As with much of Telemann, the music is interesting, the colors carefully delineated, and a sense of contrast permeates the music throughout. This is brought to the fore by Rebel, whose members have an excellent sense of intonation and phrasing. I am appreciative of the sensitive tempos, and the composer’s sometimes gnarly harmony seems to leap out of the disc with their choice of temperament. The fact that there is only one performer on a part lends an intimacy that I find extremely convincing. Though there do exist other recordings of these works out there, this is one disc that will have you rethinking the Telemann double concerto. My only hope is that Rebel will consider doing more of these. An excellent disc.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Flute and Violin in E minor, TV 52 no e 3 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Conductor:  Jorg-Michael Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rebel (Baroque Ensemble)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. John's Lutheran Church, Stamford, CT 
Length: 9 Minutes 21 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for 2 Flutes and Bassoon in G major, TV 52 no G 1 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Conductor:  Jorg-Michael Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rebel (Baroque Ensemble)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1768; Germany 
Venue:  St. John's Lutheran Church, Stamford, CT 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin, Cello, Trumpet and Strings in D major, TV 53 no D 5 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Conductor:  Jorg-Michael Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rebel (Baroque Ensemble)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  St. John's Lutheran Church, Stamford, CT 
Length: 12 Minutes 31 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for 2 flutes, calchedon (mandora/or bassoon), strings & continuo in E minor, TWV 53:e2 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Conductor:  Jorg-Michael Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rebel (Baroque Ensemble)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1712-1721 
Venue:  St. John's Lutheran Church, Stamford, CT 
Length: 9 Minutes 10 Secs. 
5.
Concerto for 2 Violins, Strings and Basso Continuo in G major, TV 52 no G 2 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Conductor:  Jorg-Michael Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rebel (Baroque Ensemble)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  St. John's Lutheran Church, Stamford, CT 
Length: 8 Minutes 28 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Recorder and Flute in E minor, TV 52 no e 1 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Conductor:  Jorg-Michael Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rebel (Baroque Ensemble)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  St. John's Lutheran Church, Stamford, CT 
Length: 13 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A welcome reminder January 16, 2014 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "I always forget about Telemann. Unlike his contemporaries Bach and Handel, he didn't write anything that became a breakout hit, like the "Air on a G String," or "Water Music." But his music was all of a very high quality, full of inventiveness and skill -- as Rebel reminded me with this new recording of Telemann double concerti. Played with authentic instruments, Rebel presents these works as fresh, robust compositions, brimming with energy. And that makes this a very appealing recording. The soloists balance nicely between authentic performance practices and individual expression. As a result, these concertos sound like living, breathing works rather than museum pieces. Recording Rebel in a church was an excellent call. The ambiance is well-suited to the ensemble, vibrant enough to give the music depth, yet intimate enough to hear every detail. This release is a welcome reminder, indeed." Report Abuse
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