Il Fondamento / Paul Dombrecht

Telemann: Ouverture la Bourse; Suites

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Il Fondamento is a Dutch historical-instrument orchestra, formed in 1989. It recorded this collection of suites in 1996, and it's here reissued on Belgium's Passacaille label with its original, unedited booklet notes; the reader learns that in the 18th century, the suite "became the more poplar counterpart of the learned symphony or sonata." The disc's chief value lies in the repertoire; the three suites are conceptually interesting and aren't terribly common. The Overture "La Bourse" (The Stock Exchange) referred to in the album's title received its name from a later editor, but the movement titles, including the intriguing "L'espérance de Mississippi" (The Hope of Mississippi, track 6), refer to stock-exchange phenomena, and the work apparently dates from a period in the 1710s during which Telemann lived in an apartment above the Frankfurt stock exchange. Some of Telemann's music is ingeniously programmatic, but it's hard for the general listener to hear any trace of Mississippi in the final movement, or in the rest of them, possibly excepting the second movement, the lively "Le repos interrompu" (The Interrupted Rest). Yet the study of the signs contained in Telemann's music is still in its infancy, and there are intriguing things here for the Telemann lover interested in trying to figure out why he structured individual pieces the way he did. The following Suite in G minor is conceptually at the opposite extreme, with no descriptive titles at all, while the final Suite in C major is a mixture, with a portrait of boisterous students in "Les étudiants gaillards" (track 17) along with various French dances. The other point of interest is the orchestration, with solo parts for paired oboes and a bassoon throughout. These sections are consistently inventive, and the crisp, dryly humorous playing by the winds, who include group leader Paul Dombrecht on oboe, is a major point in the performance's favor. The trend since the album's original release has been toward a slightly smaller group and more muscular sound in Telemann instead of the smooth string playing heard here, but this 1990s recording continues to hold up well and belongs in collections of Telemann's music. Notes are in English, French, and German.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Ouverture for 2 oboes, bassoon strings & basso continuo in B flat ("La Bourse")
1 4:56
2 4:04
3 3:20
4 2:49
5 4:36
6 2:05
Suite for 2 oboes, bassoon, strings & basso continuo in G minor
7 6:28
8 2:09
9 1:06
10 2:23
11 0:54
12 1:48
13 3:35
14 1:48
Suite for 2 oboes, bassoon, strings & basso continuo in C major
15 7:29
16 1:56
17 2:38
18 1:56
19 2:10
20 2:10
21 3:00
22 2:49
23 1:59
24 4:12
blue highlight denotes track pick