Notes and Editorial Reviews
Overture in D
Reinhard Goebel, cond; Barbara Schlick (sop);
Musica Antiqua Köln
BRILLIANT 93897 (53:40
Text and Translation)
In an era when buckets of praise are poured over such excellent early-music conductors as Spinosi, Biondi, and Gardiner, I fear that too many critics either overlook or underestimate Reinhard Goebel. He’s been at it
for 37 years, far longer than almost anyone else in the business with the exceptions of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Roger Norrington, and to my mind he’s always had the Baroque style nailed perfectly. His Musica Antiqua Köln plays with brio, but does not overblow instruments or make the strings screech. His musical phrasing contains numerous individual touches, from crescendos and diminuendos on single notes and half-phrases to a rhythmic edginess that pushes the music just a shade beyond the confines of a “regular” pulse to make it sound irregular and, as a result, more interesting. These classic recordings, originally made in 1989, are perfect examples of his art and, in the cantata, show just how much of a difference a great conductor can make on a good but not always inspired soloist (Schlick).
No two ways about it, Telemann was a very imaginative composer, like C. P. E. Bach one of the true geniuses who helped shape a rhythmic and melodic revolution in classical music as it evolved from the formal structures of the Baroque into the more ambitious and multifaceted styles of the Classical era. If C. P. E. Bach was more adventurous, that was probably due to his younger age and the fact that he had many new ideas swimming around in his head that he wasn’t allowed to indulge in while court composer for Frederick the Great. C. P. E. inevitably had to put job security aside in order to express himself more fully and, as a result, achieve immortality. Telemann, already established as a great composer and in demand even if he had turned out nothing but rehashes of his earlier work, did himself proud by refusing to stand pat.
Both these works are shining samples of his late style, written in 1765, two years before his death at age 86.
shows clearly the strong influence he had on Haydn, the stronger and more varied rhythms of the music enlivening the vocal line and providing richly varied orchestral accompaniment and commentary. Here the formalism of Baroque style is completely energized by his pleading sarabandes and restless sicilianos; even the gigues are played with an almost reckless abandon compared to his past music. The “Overture,” actually a seven-movement suite (but they hadn’t yet come up with the term “suite”), turns the French style on its head with sprightly gavottes just a shade too fast to be danced to but perfectly bouncy enough to listen to. Had Telemann lived to be 90, I’m sure he’d have grown even more. He had the kind of musical mind that never gave up or got old.
If you don’t have these works in your collection (and this is the only recording of
), this is the disc to get, but even if you do, I can’t imagine that Goebel’s interpretations wouldn’t inspire or delight you.
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Works on This Recording
Overture in D major by Georg Philipp Telemann
Musica Antiqua Cologne
Ino by Georg Philipp Telemann
Barbara Schlick (Soprano)
Musica Antiqua Cologne
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