While Telemann is, today, considered among the very greatest of Baroque composers, he was one of the last of the period to be reappraised by later generations, and his music had to be ‘rediscovered’, just as that of J.S. Bach and Vivaldi was. Despite this, he enjoyed a great deal of fame during his lifetime, and his long career resulted in a vast output. He was, in fact, one of the most prolific composers of any age, and travelled widely, assimilating different styles into his own compositions. This allowed him to produce music of such individuality and quality, with a noticeable sense of ease, that it must have astonished his colleagues and patrons, as it does us today.
The 36 Fantasias for harpsichord were published in 1732/3, and are divided into three groups of 12 – the second set is in the French style, while the outer sets are in the Italian style. Each fantasia closes with a da capo repeat of the first movement, expertly and sensitively embellished by harpsichordist Andrea Coen. These are energetic and energising works, at once intellectual and entertaining ‘so that the player enjoys them, and you can take pleasure from that (because) variety revives the spirit’ as Telemann commented.
- Recording made in 2011
- Includes booklet notes in both English and Italian by Andrea Coen
- Andrea Coen knows the style inside out, as proven by his many recordings, among which the Complete Sonatas by Giustini (94021), which got rave reviews by the international press.