Trio Sonatas for recorder and viol
Steven Devine hpsd, Emma Murphy rec, Susanna Pell viol
Chandos CHAN0817

Baroque trio Da Camera’s new album comprises Telemann’s complete Trio Sonatas for Recorder and Viol. It provides a snapshot of the composer’s cosmopolitan approach – assimilating elements of German, French and Italian styles – the nuances of which the ensemble, led by recorder player Emma Murphy, brings to vivid life.

Murphy’s round, polished sound provides an exquisite timbral contrast to Susanna Pell’s more penetrating treble viol and throaty bass viol, both players tracing clean lines above the resonant, textural accompaniment of Steven Devine’s harpsichord.

The Sonata No 5 in A Minor is particularly fine, the bass viol a rich and effective counterpoint to Murhpy’s alto recorder, from the Largo first movement, through the driving Vivace, a plaintive Affettuoso and robust Allegro finale. The deeper ‘voice flute’ – a recorder that sits between alto and tenor – used in Sonata No 10 is wonderfully mellow, but sparkles with a fulsome lustre in the Presto. Providing timbral variety, strewn amongst the trios, are Telemann’s gallant-style Fantaisies pour le Clavessin, crisply rendered by Devine.

A little under 80 minutes of Trio Sonatas runs the risk of homogeneity and this disc is more satisfying in its exquisite details than as a recital. But the playing is beautiful and the meticulous interpretations reward repeated listening. A must-have for the Telemann fiends but a delight for all.

Limelight, Australia's Classical Music and Arts Magazine

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