Telemann: Sonatas, Sonatinas and Fantasias
When I listen to Genevieve Lacey perform I often forget something, I get distracted by her lovely turn of phrase, her clean and bright sound, and those fast, pattering fingers making light of difficult ornamentations. I forget that the recorder is really, really hard to play and even more difficult to play well. Then when you add in the virtuosity of Telemann, you’ve got an astounding recording that is deceptively simple until you really think about it. Then throw in some baroque bassoon to give a fabulous timbre contrast, and this recording shows that, although Australia might not have been founded when this music was written, we can still hold our own in the performance of these works.
Telemann was feted in his day for his forward thinking style of composition, and competition was fierce to hire him as a musician and composer. The famous story is that when Telemann turned down a job with St Thomas Church in Leipzig, Johann Sebastian Bach was offered it, as Bach was considered a far inferior musician to the might and beauty that was Telemann. Nowadays the general consensus is that Bach was the better composer; however this does not detract from Telemann’s style or clever compositions.
Lacey brings all of her prowess as a virtuosic recorder player and all of the breadth and depth of her musical knowledge to this delightful recording. I don’t want to say much about Jane Gower, because I think her autobiographical statement on the Concerto Copenhagen website says it all and you should discover her music for yourself. I never knew that the baroque bassoon could play that well in tune, but listening to Gower, again, you take it for granted.
Kate Rockstrom is a friend of Readings.