Telemann’s 12 Fantasias on a Panoply of Flutes

Posted on Posted in 2017 Wisconsin Flute Festival, Performance

Telemann’s 12 Fantasias on a Panoply of Flutes

Linda Pereksta

This program presents all 12 of Telemann’s Fantasias, performed on five very different historical flutes. The result is a tremendous variety of tone colors within the realm of sounds the composer would have recognized. The slow movements will feature extensive ornamentation derived from Telemann’s Sonate Metodiche. The following flutes will be played: G. A. Rottenburgh traverso by Roderick Cameron; J. J. Rippert traverso (at a=392) by Jan de Winne; Schnitzer tenor flute by Boaz Berney; J. C. Denner Alto Recorder by von Huene; and an I. H. Rottenburgh traverso by Weemaels. This program was selected and presented in its entirety at the 2016 NFA Convention in San Diego.

Fantasia no. 1 in A Major
Vivace-Adagio-Allegro

Fantasia no. 2 in A Minor
Grave-Vivace-Adagio-Allegro

Fantasia no. 3 in B Minor
Largo-Vivace-Allegro

Fantasia no. 4 in B-flat Major
Andante-Allegro-Presto

Fantasia no. 5 in C Major
Presto-Largo-Allegro-Allegro

Fantasia no. 6 in D Minor
Dolce-Allegro-Spirituoso

Fantasia no. 7 in D Major
Alla francese-Presto

Fantasia no. 8 in E Minor
Largo-Spirituoso-Allegro

Fantasia no. 9 in E Major
Affettuoso-Allegro-Grave-Vivace

Fantasia no. 10 in F-sharp Minor
A tempo giusto-Presto-Moderato

Fantasia no. 11 in G Major
Allegro-Adagio-Vivace-Allegro

Fantasia no. 12 in G Minor
Grave-Allegro-Dolce-Allegro-Presto

Program Notes:

*The following flutes are played:
I. H. Rottenburgh traverso, c. 1740 (a=415), by Weemaels: Fantasias no. 1, 4, 6, 11, & 12
G. A. Rottenburgh traverso, c. 1760 (a=415), by Rod Cameron: Nos. 2, 8, and 10
J. J. Rippert traverso, c. 1690 (a=392), by Jan de Winne: Nos. 3 and 7
Schnitzer tenor flute, c. 1630 (a=440), by Boaz Berney: No. 5
J. C. Denner baroque alto recorder, (a=415), by von Huene: No. 9 (transposed to G Major)

With the partial exception of the French Overture of no. 7, none of the flutes have been assigned to their fantasias according to any particular notion of correctness. The choice of flute for each fantasia was based on the tonal qualities of each. My G. A. Rottenburgh copy, for example, has an especially striking contrast between directly-fingered and cross-fingered notes. This gives chromatic passages a particularly expressive quality, so I am playing it for the most chromatic of the fantasias.
It is of course anachronistic to play any of these on a Renaissance flute. However, this was an instrument that did exist during the composer’s lifetime, and as such, was a sound with which he might reasonably have been familiar. One could therefore make a reasonable argument that it makes at least as much sense to play repertoire on an instrument that is too early, rather than too late. Like most of you, I first heard and played these pieces on modern flute. I thought it would at least be an interesting change of perspective to view one of these pieces through the lens of an instrument that predates them.