Sunday, 24 January 2016

Telemann - Recorder Sonatas and Fantasias - Thorby

Rating: 5/5

A terrific recording

This is a terrific recording.  Pamela Thorby is a wonderful musician and she has done Telemann proud here.

The first if the two discs consists of sonatas for flute and continuo which, like so much of Telemann's music, are full of interest, melody, charm and sometimes drama.  By changing the composition of her continuo group for different sonatas, Thorby introduces another element of variety which I find extremely engaging, too; it's done with care and thought and shows a real understanding of the music rather than just being a facile trick, and the quality of the playing throughout is excellent.

The second of the discs is Telemann's set of twelve fantasias for solo recorder.  I think these are extraordinary works of real imagination, and they require real virtuosity to play – which Pamela Thorby has in abundance.  I'm delighted that she has recorded the Fantasias; I have a good recording of them by Marion Verbruggen and they have been well recorded by some fine flautists, too, but I think this is something special.  Thorby invests each Fantasia with real meaning and its own character, without ever resorting to spurious tricks.  It all sounds absolutely natural and comes out of Telemann's music itself. 

As well as fine musicianship, the recorded sound is as lovely as you would expect from Linn and the presentation is very attractive.  This is a very fine set all round and I can recommend it very warmly.

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