Marilyn Zupnik / Raymond Leppard / Mark Schuman

Telemann and Handel: Oboe Sonatas

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For the most part, the works on this 1989 release are not strictlyoboe sonatas; they're from various publications equally aimed at flutists, violinists, and perhaps recorder players. Some of those by Telemann, however, are intended specifically for an oboe. Featuring famed Baroque-music conductor Raymond Leppard on harpsichord along with a pair of American musicians, this was an experimental recording for its time: Leppard's continuo playing is active and a bit frilly. By now it's on the conservative side; oboist Marilyn Zupnik adds Baroque ornamentation but plays rather straightforwardly. It is in no way off-putting to hear, however. The repeated contrasts between Handel and Telemann are pleasing and instructive, with the stylistic differences between the two emerging even as most of the pieces use the same four-movement church sonata style or a close variant; Handel, even in workaday music like this, shows masterly control of time, building tremendous momentum from economically used materials, while Telemann strives for melody and exotic flavor. No data is provided about the recording place and date, but the 1989 sound remains clear and unobjectionable. The disc will provide an hour of pleasant sonata listening for anyone who likes the sound of an oboe.

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