The reserve collections of the Bibliothèque Royale of Brussels hold the sole printed copy of Telemann’s Twelve Fantaisies for solo flute. . . . These fantasias considerably enrich the slender corpus of Baroque works for flute without bass, alongside two other gems, the Partita of J. S. Bach and the Sonata in A minor of C. P. E. Bach. A cycle for solo flute of this kind, arranged by tonalities (the twelve that come most naturally to the instrument) and rising gradually from the key of A to that of G, is unique in the repertory. . . . These fantasias, each with its own mood, are miniatures consisting of a succession of three or four movements in the same key. All of them have in common the concision, the formal brevity and the rapid alternation of their movements. Telemann plays on effects of contrast and surprise by switching between opposing characters and tempi.
Following the fine critical praise for his pioneering recording of the complete Harpsichord Suites of G.F. Handel, Gilbert Rowland moves to the lesser known but equally inspired Johann Mattheson (1681-1764) who composed these suites in 1714. Although generally following the then current Dance Suite format used so much by Bach, Handel and others, Mattheson created variety with different dances (such as the Tocatine) and varying numbers of movements. Certainly very musical and original, these Suites deserve to be considered on a level with those of Handel at the very least. Masterful performances by Gilbert Rowland who plays a 2-manual French-style instruments by Andrew Wooderson (2005) after an original from 1750 by Goemans.