TELEMANN Concerti for Wind Instruments
Il Gardellino have been stepping out beyond their original Baroque wind specialism of late: they’ve devoted a few recent recordings to vocal cantatas, while their last disc featured Beethoven. So this album of wind concertos by Telemann, themed around his gemischter Geschmack or mixed taste (that’s his predilection for mixing different musical influences and instrumental timbres in the same piece of music) feels like something of a homecoming, and the results are truly excellent.
There’s a lovely unfussiness to Il Gardellino’s readings. Notes are sustained not a moment longer than necessary, but equally not a moment less. These are not choppy performances. Instead, they simply showcase the whistle-clean perfection of both the ensemble’s fast passagework and the soloists’ many virtuoso moments.
Phrasing-wise, these are big-picture readings rather than ones that zero in on a micro level, so it’s the long arches you’ll hear rather than the regular accenting of individual notes: listen to the first movement of the transverse flute and violin concerto TWV52:e3 to hear what I mean. A similar less-is-more simplicity is applied to the plucked accompaniment of the same concerto’s Adagio, so redolent of the Largo from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Winter, allowing the dovetailing flute and violin lines to really sing out the poetry.
As for the joys of Marcel Ponseele and his oboe, Il Gardellino keep us hanging until the end, but the immaculately blended trio he forms with fellow oboists Ann Vanlancker and Taka Kitazato for the TWV44:43 Septet is well worth the wait, and a highly enjoyable end to a highly enjoyable disc.