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Pamela Thorby - Telemann: Recorder Sonatas and Fantasias - The Guardian

22 October 2015
The Guardian
Kate Molleson
4 Stars

'Georg Philipp Telemann was a canny operator. He published a magazine called The Faithful Music Master – the first ever music journal in Germany – and kept subscribers hooked by drip-feeding them sonatas in instalments. Keen readers were rewarded with chamber music full of dance rhythms and big melodies: this instrumental writing is supremely singable, and Pamela Thorby, one of today’s most boldly stylish and charismatic recorder players, makes every shapely line count. She’s bolstered by a spirited ensemble of Peter Whelan (bassoon), Alison McGillivray (cello), Elizabeth Kenny (archlute) and Marcin Swiatkiewicz (harpsichord), who bring a light touch and conversational spark to seven of the chamber sonatas. Occasionally in group context the humble recorder seems too contained for Thorby’s hugely generous phrasing – the opening movement of the Sonata in F minor TWV 41: F1 is so saturated with sentiment that things start to get woozy. But her solo Fantasias are breathtaking: intimate, exploratory, captivating for the virtuosic way she spins several lines of counterpoint at once.'
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Elizabeth KennyElizabeth Kenny
Marcin SwaitkiewiczMarcin Swaitkiewicz
Pamela ThorbyPamela Thorby
Peter WhelanPeter Whelan
Telemann: Recorder Sonatas and FantasiasTelemann: Recorder Sonatas and Fantasias