Abel published quite a few chamber works with flute, meeting the demand for new music by the many gentleman flutists in England. The flute concertos contained here, despite their opus number, were never published, but are found in a manuscript held in Leipzig which can be dated prior to 1759. Stylistically these works have left the Baroque far behind, with regular phrases, simple basses , broad harmonic movement. The melodies make ample use of lombardic rhythms and syncopations and the florid passaggi sparkles with triplets and scalar passages in sixteenths. Though there are occasional harmonic complications which recall Abel's background, the overall tone here is that of the Enlightenment. Who can Abel have written these works for?
With The All-Baroque Box we realize one of our fondest dreams: harnessing the deep catalogue of Archiv Produktion (supplemented on occasion by Decca L oiseau lyre recordings) to create a comprehensive collection of great music from Monteverdi to Bach. The music ranges from huge Baroque (Missa Salisburgensis, Venetian polychoral, Charpentier Te Deum) to intimate Baroque (the Goldberg Variations, Bach cello suites, solo cantatas) overwhelming in its impact and emotional content.
Brilliant composer and organist Johann Sebastian Bach completes the long journey from his home in Leipzig to Potsdam.
How admirably Telemann succeeds may be heard listening to these concertos. Eschewing the Italian three-movement model of fast-slow-fast, he adheres to the German layout of four movements: slow-fast-slow-fast. Also in contrast to the works of his Italian counterparts, who not infrequently fell into the lazy habit of writing the same concerto over and over again, each of Telemann’s examples is strikingly different, not just in its instrumentation, but in its melodic and harmonic content and in the patterning of its passagework. Nonetheless, exquisitely beautiful as some of his slow movements are—listen to the Largo of the A-Major Oboe d’amore Concerto—it would be disingenuous to pretend that Telemann (or German Baroque composers in general) ever mastered the art of the Italian instrumental cantilena that grew out of the melodiousness of the language and Italy’s long vocal tradition. Nothing in these concertos can compare, for example, to the timeless beauty of the Adagio from Albinoni’s D-Minor Oboe Concerto, op. 9/2, written at approximately the same time as the Telemann.