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Addicted to Telemann

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Telemann, Voyageur virtuose (trio sonatas), Amarillis
(released April 24, 2007)
Continuing the Ionarts 2007 Telemann kick, this new disc of Telemann trio sonatas, called Voyageur virtuose, has become addictive listening. Héloïse Gaillard, director of the Amarillis ensemble, has brought together four trio sonatas from the composer's last published volume of chamber music (Essercizii Musici, 1740). Written for performers of all stripes, public and private, these sonatas are models of economy. Movements rarely last more than three minutes and often have run their course in under two minutes, enough to establish the desired affect and draw a conclusion.

These are mostly sonatas dominated by a wind instrument, both recorder and Baroque oboe, the former with greater beauty than the latter, played with technical ferocity and lyric fluidity by Héloïse Gaillard. The sound, captured in a hall of the Château de Juigné-sur-Sarthe, is clean, active, and warm. Amarillis did a residency there last year, a lovely location I know from having walked through Sablé-sur-Sarthe on the way to visits at the Abbey of St.-Pierre in Solesmes.

Each half of the CD begins with a sonata outside the collection. The opening D minor sonata has the recorder as lead instrument, with violin on the more supporting second part. The piece, which gripped my ears and has not let go, has only one slow movement, a suave rendition with cello and theorbo on the continuo line. The group brings considerable energy, with abandon sometimes overshadowing technical perfection, to the two Allegros and one Presto. The repeated notes that abound in the continuo line are realized with the maximum of rhythmic and percussive clanging from harpsichord and the strings, even guitar-like effects on the theorbo. It's a rockin' 1:48.

Naïve Ambroisie AM 112

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