Telemann - 100 Menuets | Brilliant Classics 96249

Telemann - 100 Menuets


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 96249

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 19th November 2021



“The most exciting thing on this journey of a hundred stages was to find in each individual minuet a unique and unrepeatable sense of originality: a hundred miniatures comprising a kaleidoscope as rich and coherent as was ever heard.” – Andrea Coen

Andrea Coen views the 100 Menuets as a continuation of his earlier recording on Brilliant Classics of Telemann’s Kleine Kammermusik, intended by the composer for any of various melodic instruments and figured bass accompaniment, or for the harpsichord alone. In accordance with performance practice of the time, Coen realised unwritten harmonies on the basis of the very detailed figured bass line Telemann provides, and he takes the exact same approach on this recording of Telemann’s two sets of 49 + 1 miniatures, which take up right where the Kleine Kammermusik ends – with a minuet.

Telemann’s 100 Menuets are well-crafted miniatures of 16 to 40 bars; those of the second set of 50 (from 1730) are generally briefer than those of the first (from 1728). In both collections, the keys are arranged alphabetically so that each group of seven menuets (eight in the last) is confined to one or two tonal centres, a system Telemann may have devised in order to encourage novice players to master one small group of tonalities at a time.

With few exceptions, the dances are unvarying in their two-reprise structure and four-bar phrasing. Two dances have a kind of da capo structure (II/38 and 48: AABA), while several offer relief from the oppressively regular phraseology by mixing in uneven or asymmetrical phrases (I/5, with five-bar phrases; I/10, I/44, and II/41, with six-bar phrases). Others strongly invoke the French style through the short–long–long–short ‘Favier’ rhythm or numerous tierces coulées, ports de voix and other agréments (I/12, I/22, I/31, II/20). Occasionally, Telemann high-mindedly writes a strict canon (II/50) or invertible counterpoint (I/5–6, 24–25, 50): the treble and bass voices of Menuets I/5 and 24 are exchanged in I/6 and 25; the same switch occurs between the two halves of Menuet I/50.

Andrea Coen is an organist, harpsichordist, and fortepianist, who has studied with such distinguished artists as Ton Koopman and Alan Curtis, and has collaborated with such figures as Christopher Hogwood and Monica Huggett. His recordings of Baroque and early-Classical keyboard repertoire for Brilliant Classics have attracted glowing reviews. Coen recorded the “Kleine Kammermusik” and made the first complete recording of Telemann’s Fantasias (94228). According to MusicWeb International: ‘Coen, an experienced, insightful instrumentalist with a profound knowledge of historical performance practice and a sackful of important recordings under his belt, could make Telemann sound special even on a typewriter.’

Recorded in January of 2021 in Monte
Compatri (Rome), Italy

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