To mark the 250th anniversary of the death of Georg Philipp Telemann, mandolinist Alon Sariel presents a diverse compilation of remarkable works by the great German composer. Together with his ensemble Concerto Foscari he plays repertoire that has never been heard before in this musical form.
Born in the Israeli city of Beersheba, Alon Sariel encountered the mandolin at a young age. Constantly in search of a new challenge, he discovered Telemann’s solo fantasias, which were originally written for another instrument, and arranged them for the mandolin. Clearly impressed by this discovery, he started to take a broader interest in Telemann, his incredible wealth of ideas and his compositions, which are not limited to any particular genre. Telemann effortlessly mastered every style of his age.
Despite, or perhaps indeed because of, his musical versatility he is now outshone by his contemporaries Bach and Vivaldi. Telemandolin is therefore a project that takes us on a journey of discovery through a typical selection of Telemann’s works, which have been specially arranged for mandolin and chamber ensemble, with one player assigned to each line: “I would like to present a programme that does justice to Telemann’s boundless wealth of ideas and his openness to the music of other countries. Telemandolin therefore brings together a great variety of styles, from French overture through Italian concerto to chamber partita and solo fantasia. My arrangements for mandolin and lute have never been heard before in the concert circuit or on CD.”
Alon Sariel and the ensemble Concerto Foscari, which he has directed for several years now, draws on small instrumental forces, with one player assigned to each part, so as to ensure maximum flexibility and transparency in their music. The ensemble comprises seven young musicians from across Europe, who all perform on period instruments and bring their own experiences into play. In this way, each and every work is given its own distinctive tone colour: now unusual, audacious and challenging; now very melodious and virtuosic. “Some pieces sound so optimistic as to evoke a summery field of flowers, thus setting the tone for Telemandolin.”
The compilation is enriched with works by three of Telemann’s contemporaries: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Carl Friedrich Abel and Johann Friedrich Fasch, all three of whom engaged in the creative spirit of the Hamburg composer and his works and thus enrich the musical concept of Telemandolin.