This attractive mixed programme of Telemann’s works featuring flute or recorder has been designed by Ashley Solomon to celebrate Florilegium’s 25th anniversary. The triple concerto for flute, oboe d’amore and viola d’amore in E major stands out as one of the composer’s most beguiling masterpieces: the limpid opening Andante sounds like a serene evocation of sunrise that anticipates the mature Haydn by several decades; the soloists Solomon, Alexandra Bellamy and Bojan Čičić play with elegant finesse, and also conjure up refined melancholy in an intimately conversational Siciliana. The double concerto for recorder and viola da gamba in A minor is a charming example of Telemann’s taste for synthesising French and Italian musical styles with elements of Polish folk music; Florilegium’s civilised elegance in the French-style Grave, gently Italianate sway in the Allegro, and Solomon’s duet with gambist Reiko Ichise in the Dolce has pastoral sensitivity. At the heart of the programme is Ihr Völker hört, a cantata for solo voice and obbligato instrument that was published in the first instalment of the series Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst. Clare Wilkinson’s softly convivial and articulate singing communicates the cheerful Epiphany text.
These three major British concertos span fully 70 years. Kenneth Leighton’s Concerto is a work of tensile urgency, scored with great imagination, and ending in an arch-like Epilogue of impassioned intensity. Written for soloist and string orchestra, the Concerto by Gordon Jacob contains at its heart a threnodic slow movement cast in long, moving paragraphs and accompanied by poetic effects. Written for (and premiered by) the soloist in this recording, Paul Patterson’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (‘Serenade’) is rich in high spirits; songlike, wistful and exuberantly sparkling. Clare Howick is a specialist in twentieth-century British music and her recital of British violin music – Elgar, Bridge, Delius, Cyril Scott – was released in September 2017 (8573790).