Notes and Editorial Reviews
Overture Concertos: in G,
Elizabeth Wallfisch (vn); dir; L’Orfeo Bar O (period instruments)
CPO 777 242 (61:30)
The fourth volume of CPO’s set of Telemann’s “complete violin concertos” contains three overture-concertos, two works of which kind appeared in a previous volume (in D, TWV 55:D14; in A, TWV 55:
A7, CPO 777 473). Two of the concertos in the new installment (in G Major, TWV 55:6 G, and in G Minor, TWV 55:g7) feature the addition of two oboes
, but woodwind highlights don’t distract from the sometimes brilliant solos that emerge not only in the fast sections of the first movements (ouvertures), but in the jaunty movements like the G-Major Concerto’s Bourée (these concertos usually consist of an ouverture followed by sets of dances, including entrées, bourées, loures, menuets, siciliennes, gigues, and rondeaus, mixed in various orders). The engineers seem to have placed Elizabeth Wallfisch within, rather than in front of, the orchestra (which they’ve captured at some distance), though she plays the violin parts brilliantly when the music calls for her to do so. Still, these aren’t Vivaldi-like, no-holds-barred virtuosic romps that anticipate the spotlight Paganini directed on the violin part. Yet they aren’t concertos in the style of Torelli, with solos suddenly springing out from the background, either. Telemann wove the violin’s figuration from bariolages and swirling passages, usually setting it against a chunky, rhythmically vigorous orchestral backdrop (strongly accentuated in these readings) that serves as at least a textural equal of the solo violin so seamlessly woven into it. However that may be, the Ouverture to the Concerto in G Minor contains passages that could command the spotlight in Italian concertos from the period and later.
The vigor of the performances by Wallfisch and L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra emerges perhaps most overtly in movements like the Bourée from the Concerto in E Major, and the strongest lyricism of the performances in the loures. But Wallfisch’s tone remains astringent and bracing throughout, arguably tailored to the vigor of the ruddiest dances rather than to the works’ tenderer moments. Occasionally, as in the G-Minor Concerto’s Gavotte, the oboes fleetingly draw the spotlight, and Carin van Hearden and Domenika Trefflinger flicker and flash in these soloistic moments.
Those who have been following the series since the appearance of CPO 999 900-2 in
28:1 should welcome this latest number (recorded October 9–12, 2006) with equal enthusiasm for the vigor of movements like the G-Minor Concerto’s Menuet, but those unfamiliar with the earlier installments can surely start here. Warmly recommended across the board.
FANFARE: Robert Maxham
Works on This Recording
Overture-Suite in G minor, TV 55 no g 7 by Georg Philipp Telemann
Elizabeth Wallfisch (Violin)
Venue: Stift Seitenstetten, Austria
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs.
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