CD of the Month: Telemann 12 Solo Fantasias, TWV 40:2-13

Supplier Code: CC2036 (Oboe Classics)

Our C.D. of the month is a new release from Oboe Classics of Telemann’s ‘12 Solo Fantasias’, which were composed in Hamburg in the 1720s. Although the fantasias were originally written for the flute, they are also performed by oboists so frequently that the fantasias are included on both the flute and oboe ABRSM exam syllabuses. This new C.D. further demonstrates the versatility of Telemann’s work, containing twenty performances on a range of instruments as diverse as the viola da gamba and electronic wind synthesiser.

The process of creating this collection of performances began in the Summer of 2020, when a webinar entitled ‘A Tribute to Telemann’s Fantasias’ brought together hundreds of international musicians to perform and examine the work. Following this, over one hundred recorded performances of the fantasias were submitted to a panel, who selected twenty of the applications to present on this C.D.

The recordings on this C.D. were all performed by accomplished musicians ranging from students to teachers and other professionals. Whilst some of the performers follow historical practices more closely than others, all approach the pieces in unique ways, displaying their own individual styles. It is even more impressive to consider that all the music on this collection was recorded ‘live’ under lockdown conditions and therefore received little or no editing.

Some of the C.D’s performances sound closer to those Telemann may have heard in the 18th century, such as Track 1 which is performed by Beth Stone on a Wenner one-keyed baroque flute. Conversely, Track 9, performed by Annabel Knight on the electronic wind synthesiser (an innovative wind instrument assisted by a computer), provides a complete contrast. Whilst it is generally believed that the fantasias were originally intended for the baroque flute- a view supported by the piece’s pitch range and idiomatic writing- the fact that the first edition published of this work was for the violin suggests that there was an open-minded view of instrumentation at the time of the work’s publication.

This project certainly demonstrates the great versatility of Telemann’s fantasias, showing how successful they can be performed on a variety of different instruments. It also shows that, even three hundred years after its composition, much interest remains for the work and more can still be drawn from it. Oboe Classics’ new C.D is supplied with a booklet including a 20,000 essay on the Fantasias written by the well-known oboist and educator George Caird following on from his detailed study of Britten’s ‘Six Metamorphoses after Ovid’ which gained much praise. The C.D. can be purchased on our website here:

Full track listing (total run-time 80 minutes):

  1. Beth Stone (Baroque Flute): Fantasia IX in E major
  2. Yidi Song (Flute): Fantasia IX in E major
  3. Erica Peel (Piccolo): Fantasia III in B minor
  4. Antoine Torunczyk (Baroque Oboe): Fantasia VII in D major
  5. Drake Gritton (Oboe): Fantasia X in F# minor
  6. Isabel Esain (Viola da gamba): Fantasia XII in G minor
  7. Miriam Kaczor (Baroque Flute): Fantasia VI in D minor
  8. Angela Calvo Rios (Oboe): Fantasia XI in G major
  9. Annabel Knight (Electronic Wind Synthesiser): Fantasia XI in G major
  10. Bede Williams (Trumpet): Fantasia VII in D major
  11. Bingliang ‘Billy’ Liu (Oboe): Fantasia VIII in E minor
  12. Jianhao Zhou (Guitar): Fantasia III in B minor
  13. Rebecca Koopmans (Contrabassoon): Fantasia XII in G minor
  14. Thomas Friedle (Cor Anglais): Fantasia XII in G minor
  15. Matteo Costanzi (Oboe): Fantasia I in A major
  16. Hannah Parry (Recorder): Fantasia XI in G major
  17. Will Hammond (Clarinet in C): Fantasia V in C major
  18. Gabriel Gramesc (Oboe da caccia): Fantasia II in A minor
  19. Kelley Osterberg (Oboe): Fantasia IV in Bb major
  20. Mark Baigent (Oboe): Fantasia VIII in E minor

Bethany Craft, Oboe Specialist – Howarth of London


About Howarth of London

Woodwind Specialists - Howarth are leading suppliers of oboes, bassoons, clarinets, saxophones and flutes. Makers of fine oboes, cors anglais & oboes d'amore.
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