Georg Philipp Telemann
Melodious Canons & Fantasias
A recording on period instruments
“ Elegant, measured readings of these neatly crafted pieces ”
Australian early music group the Elysium Ensemble continue their series of recordings of duos on period instruments focussing on the Art of Elegant Conversation in the Baroque with this album of canons and fantasias by Georg Philipp Telemann.
The XIIX Canons mélodieux ou VI Sonates en duo (Paris, 1738) were published in a beautifully engraved edition at the time of Telemann’s visit to Paris. This was just four years after the Six Sonates (Op. 51) for flute and violin by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, also recorded by the Elysium Ensemble.
Each of the 18 Melodious Canons is an exquisitely crafted miniature, like a sonnet or haiku. Writing in response to questions about his use of canons, Telemann states that ‘Canons deserve praise; but they are to be compared to individual trees in a great forest’.
Simple thoughts and ideas lead to a complex interplay between the two voices.
Telemann uses the term Fantasia in the sense described by J.G. Walther in his Musical Lexicon (1732): in a Fantasia ‘one plays what one wills, or composes to please oneself’.
Telemann’s Fantasias continue a rich tradition of improvised or improvisatory music going back to the 16th century in which free flights of fancy are combined with strict contrapuntal writing. The flute and violin fantasias are considered among the most significant works for these instruments before the 20th century
CDs and Downloads available from
CDs will also be available at our Concerts.
Elysium Ensemble gratefully acknowledges the support of: