Benvenuti in Elegia Classics

Sonate a due flauti

copertina Elecla 20083 Telemann 1
Elecla 20083
Format: 1 CD
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Ensamble A'L'Antica
Luigi Lupo,   transverse flute1
Pietro Berlanda, transverse flute2 


Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)

About this album

Until 1999 Telemann was thought to have written four collections of duets for two flutes, three of which were published in Paris: Sonates sans Basse (1727), XIIX Canons mélodieux (1738) and Second Livre de Duo (1752). The fourth collection remained manuscript and the only copy is kept in Berlin in the Staatsbibliothek (D-B, Mus. Ms. 21787). In 1999, however, all the scores of the Sing Akademie in Berlin stolen during the Second World War were found in the Kiev Library and thus nine other duets came to light and now they have the catalog number TWV 40: 141-149. The manuscript, the work of an unidentified Berlin copyist, has the signature SA 3903 (ZD 1742 g) and consists of two separate parts, each of 22 folios. These are duets of good quality even if a little heterogeneous and in fact the musicologist Steve Zohn has raised doubts about the authenticity of the last three. In reality, the doubts also concern some of the others and it is quite evident that they were not composed in the same period and with the idea of forming a homogeneous collection. Telemann was very systematic in his publications starting from the choice of the tonalities which here are randomly and repeatedly distributed: 3 Duets in G major, 2 in E minor and B minor, one in D major and A minor. It is possible that it is material prepared while writing the various collections and then unpublished but it is likely that the copyist has inserted other contemporary pieces to replenish the manuscript that had been commissioned to him. At the time there was in fact a thriving market that revolved around publishers and addressed to amateurs who wanted pieces for domestic use and for educational purposes. And in fact the main value of much of Telemann’s music is the formative one, indicated at times in the same titles: Sonate Metodiche ed Essercizii Musici. As for a possible dating of the duets, I think a distinction should be made between the date of composition of the pieces and that of making the copy. In the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) the second half of the eighteenth century is very generally indicated. The fact that the manuscript was part of the personal collection of Sara Levy (1761-1854), a favorite pupil of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and whose father Daniel Itzig was a Jewish banker inserted in the court of Frederick the Great, does not help since she collected scores of authors of the whole eighteenth century, primarily JS Bach, and then left them all to the Sing Akademie. Probably the score was copied after the middle of the eighteenth century but, as mentioned, it is almost certain that the pieces were composed before and in different periods. Based on the stylistic analysis of the pieces, Steve Zohn hypothesizes a time interval between 1730 and 1740 but the variety of shapes in the collection allows it to be able to reach the middle of the century. Inside the collection, a curiosity immediately catches the eye: the Sonata n. 5 in G major ends with an Allegro in 3/8 in D major and this would be unique in the panorama of the time. It can therefore be assumed that the sonata is incomplete (but already has five movements) or that the Allegro is a kind of Trio of the previous Menuet in 3/8 which therefore should be performed again to finish in the tonic. Finally I underline the happy choice of the interpreters to use both flutes copy of an original instrument by Joannes Hyacynthus Rottenburgh (1672-1765) whose sonic characteristics of fullness in the low register, good agility and richness of tone perfectly adapt to the variety of atmospheres present in general in the music of Telemann.

Additional info about this CD
Recorded in Palazzo Venturi, Avio (Trento) Italy, from 23th to 25 th August 2011
11 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Artist biography
Musicology comment



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