Review in Daily Classical Review on Telemann for Two
Daily Classical Music
06 March 2014
Handel was only sixteen when he first met Telemann. They remained in touch, and Handel later sent him from London a selection of rare plants. Telemann was godfather to Bach's second son and wrote a fine poem after Johann Sebastian's death. Since then Telemann's reputation has wavered. Here he sounds an occasionally plangent note, but for the most part is content to be playful and skittish. The result is delectable listening. The first sonata from 'The Trusty Music master' starts with the sort of fireworks Telemann could let off almost without thinking.
It is a major pleasure, as it were, when Telemann decides to languish into the minor. His F minor sonata in the same set begins 'Triste', and the mood is maintained throughout the third-movement Andante. This gives Michala Petri, who has demonstrated already a formidable technique in dazzling passagework, the chance to show how expressively she can also play.
I can only think back ruefully to my own recorder-playing days, inspired all those years ago by the comparatively modest performances of the Dolmetsch family.
Telemann remains a little mournful in the first of his 'Music Study' sonatas, even when proceeding at speed. I now began to wonder whether the balance between recorder and Anthony Newman's harpsichord was not tilted too much towards the former. A cello to reinforce the bass line would have been appropriate and helpful.
I can but admire, however, the remarkable variety of tone Michala Petri obtains from her instrument, as also the dynamic range. There is not the slightest hint of monotony.
It is joyous to end with the sheer virtuosity of the final Vivace on the CD, in which Telemann throws down the gauntlet of a fearsome technical challenge. The performance is indeed triumphant.
It is worth adding a word of commendation for the admirable liner notes of Joshua Cheek. For once I felt no need to surround myself with a pile of reference books, and basked happily in the midst of much apposite writing. I agree that 'Ehrenpforte' means 'Triumphal Arch', but in context 'Roll of Honour' might just be preferable. I greatly appreciated the title to his piece: 'A Telemann for All Seasons'. I could not ask more. Robert Anderson February 2014
Daily Classical Music

Klassik Heute on Telemann for Two (9/9/9)
Klassik Heute Magazine
04 March 2010
Ein Lulli wird gerühmt, Corelli lässt sich loben / Nur Telemann allein ist übers Lob erhoben": Mit diesen Worten pries Johann Mattheson 1740 in Georg Philipp Telemann einen Musiker, mit dem er selbst seit mittlerweile 20 Jahren in Hamburg zusammenarbeitete. Die Wertschätzung für Telemann war seinerzeit allgemein; denn mit unerschöpflicher Fantasie und enormen satztechnischen Fähigkeiten sowie einem untrüglichen Gespür für das Populäre, das sich bestens mit Geschäftssinn paarte, fand er in der europäischen Musikwelt nicht leicht seinesgleichen. Dazu war er ein Meister des „vermischten Geschmacks", in dem sich nicht nur die alten Antagonisten der italienischen und französischen Musikauffassung begegneten, sondern der auch profunde Kenntnisse der deutschen Traditionen sowie im Fall Telemanns bis ins hohe Alter auch Einflüsse aus der polnischen Volksmusik umfasste, die er auf seiner ersten Dienststelle in Sorau (dem heutigen polnischen Żary) kennengelernt hatte.
Michala Petris hochvirtuoses Blockflötenspiel hat die Künstlerin seit ihrem Konzertdebüt mit 10 Jahren in aller Welt bekannt gemacht, ihr beeindruckendes Repertoire erstreckt sich vom Barock bis zur zeitgenössischen Musik. Die Neugier der Künstlerin, die auch keine Scheu vor Crossover-Projekten kennt, passt bestens zu Telemanns weitem Horizont. Ihre hier zu besprechende CD vereint Telemanns Sonaten für Blockflöte, die in seinen beiden Sammlungen Der getreue Music-Meister und Eserciszii Musici veröffentlich wurden. Mit Anthony Newman am Cembalo kommt ein Partner hinzu, der zu Beginn seiner Karriere vom Time Magazine mit dem Titel „Hohepriester des Cembalo" ausgezeichnet wurde. An seiner hervorragenden Kopie nach einem Cembalo des Hamburger Cembalobauers Hieronymus Albrecht Hass von ca. 1730 agiert Newman freilich alles andere als priesterlich – quicklebendig und einfühlsam unterstützt er Michala Petri bei der Umsetzung des reichen musikalischen Spektrums dieser Sonaten, das vom Würdevollen über innige Akzente bis zu virtuosen Purzelbäumen reicht. „Gib jedem Instrument das, was es leiden kann, so hat der Spieler Lust, du hast Vergnügen dran": Dieser Ausspruch Telemanns hat hörbar bei dieser Einspielung Pate gestanden.
Detmar Huchting 21.03.2014

Klassik Heute Magazine

International Record Review on Telemann for Two
International Record
04 March 2010
International Record Review on Telemann for Two

While Telemann has left a variety of chamber music where the recorder, descant or treble, plays a prominent role, only six sonatas are known by him for treble recorder and continuo. It is these which the Danish recorder virtuoso Michala Petri with harpsichordist Anthony Newman plays on this newly recorded disc. Four of the sonatas come from Telemann's enterprising music periodical Der getreue Music-Meister. This was a fortnightly publication promoted by subscription, which Telemann ran profitably during 1728 and 1729. The remaining two sonatas belong to a musically more ambitious chamber instrumental collection published in 1739 under the title Essercizzi Musici. Indeed, it contains some of the composer's finest pieces in the sphere of trio and continuo sonata, as the two pieces here amply demonstrate.
Petri's musicianship is probably familiar to most devotees of the recorder and of mid-to late-Baroque repertoire. Virtues, among which are her evenly produced sound, nimble fingerwork and sence of fun, abound in her approach to these sometimes technically exacting works. Yet at the same time there is a seemingly wilful, even old-fashioned conservatism which manifests itself in an adherence to modern concert pitch, in patterns of ornamentation favoured by older generations of recorder players such as Ferdinand Conrad and by the absence of a bass stringed instrument in the continuo. In short, these are performances as far removed from the erstwhile avant-garde of Frans Brüggen, Kees Boeke or Peter Holtslag as you could imagine. A cello or a bass viol is not, of course, essential but it does add dimensions to the texture. Newman's harpsichord realizations are fluent and imaginative, though I did not always respond  favourably either to the sound of the instrument or the registration.
Readers may be wondering if I have enjoyed this recital. The answer is yes, though I do feel there is more to the music than we are allowed to share here. Two of the pieces, the Sonata in B flat, TWV41:B3 and the Sonata in F minor, BWV41:f1 can be played on various instruments. In the case of the F minor work Telemann seems to have had a bassoon foremost in mind, while he specified the recorder as an alternative, the music's dark colours, notably affecting in the opening "Triste", makes the bassoon the mote persuasive instrument. The recorder sound clear and ideally resonant and the booklet contains an informative note by an unidentified author. Nicolas Anderson, IRR February 2014
International Record

Great Fanfare review on Telemann for Two
Fanfare Magazine
19 January 2010
Don't be fooled by the label, OUR Recordings; the numbering system and the distribution shows that it is part of the vast and expanding Naxos empire. That being said, it is barely a small province therein, for there is a fair amount of material that has come out under their auspices. When one can bag a renowned recorder virtuoso such as Michaela Petri, then one can expect good things.
It is an oddity, however, that as prolific a composer as Telemann was, he paid rather scanter attention in his huge output of solo chamber works to the humble recorder. To be sure, solos for the instrument abound in the trio sonatas, concertos, and other ensemble pieces, but it seems that he preferred the traverse in terms of sound and musical possibilities. Actual sonatas for recorder and continuo, where they are not part of the practice of generic woodwind pieces, are few. Apparently only six such beasts have survived (though of course one might suggest that there are others out there waiting to be found and identified). These are four from the collection Der getreue Musik-Meister from about 1728 or 1729, and a further pair from the Essercizii Musici, a rather comprehensive gathering of sundry chamber works (sonatas and trios) that Telemann published in 1740. Given that they are literally buried within these compendiums, and since these may be of a more pedagogical focus, it is no wonder that they have emerged only piecemeal from the Telemann shadows.
The two works from the 1740s, in D Minor (TWV 41:d4) and C Major (TWV 41:C5), reflect the composer's attempts to inculcate himself into the newly emerging galantstyle, even though the former has the four-movement format of his Baroque chamber works and indeed sounds like it dates from a couple of decades earlier. Here the opening arioso is suitable plaintive, while the following Allegro spins out the small motives like beams of light, dimming ever so slightly when Telemann inserts a sudden minor key harmony. The short Grave could have been written by Vivaldi. The latter is a more advanced three-movement work, though the opening is a gentle arioso that appears floating above a pedal tone. The second is a Lamento, and the third is a lively Hornpipe, a type of music of which Telemann, living in the port city of Hamburg, was fond. The other sonatas seem to push the boundaries of the instrument in terms of flexibility and range, indicating that whoever was supposed to play them really needed to know the instrument. There is pathos, such as the opening movement of the F-Minor Sonata (TWV 41:f1), with its plaintive calls, or the very Bachian second slow movement of the B♭-Major Sonata (TWV 41:B3) with its meandering line that takes awhile to get to a cadence. The second movements are generally tour de forces with regards to recorder virtuosity, and in places such as jaunty opening of the F-Major Sonata (TWV 41:F1), which seems to rush off with display, or the second movement of the other C-Major Sonata (TWV 41:C2) runs like a perpetual motion machine with just a hint of hornpipe in the flashy theme.
Michaela Petri's playing is, as always, superb. Her technical ability to change registers so that one thinks there is another instrument in the background is astounding, as always, and she phrases her slower movements to bring out the lingering emotion of the often floating lines. Her accompanist, Anthony Newman, also no stranger to Telemann, is the perfect partner, his realizations keeping pace with but never overshadowing Petri. I do think I detect a cello also going along with the line, but alas no name is mentioned in the notes. In short, this is a terrific disc and one every Baroque music collector ought to have in their collection. It demonstrates that her reputation as one if not the premiere recorder player is well-deserved. Bertil van Boer,May/June issue 2014



Fanfare Magazine

Enthusiastic review on "Telemann for Two" in Music Web International
Music Web International
01 January 2010
Containing six sonatas, four from Der Getreue Musikmeister and two from Essercizi Musici, this CD includes Telemann's most popular Sonata in F major and the virtuosic Sonata in C major. Michala Petri and Anthony Newman are an astonishingly accomplished and unparalleled duo whose directness and sense of oneness with the music translate lucidly. Having performed together in concert many times, it is surprising that this is their first joint recording. As such this is the much awaited release of the 'High Priest of the Harpsichord' and 'First Lady of the Recorder'.
 
Telemann stated that he 'always aimed at fidelity' because 'music ought not to be an effort'. Similarly, Petri and Newman interpret each piece with naturalness and ease. This is a work of the finest musicianship and collaboration which manifests itself in impeccable phrasing and a concordance of thematic ideas. Throughout each piece there is a sincerity and exacting disciple. Here are perfectionists at work and though not gaudily polished each piece is carefully executed. The sound quality is excellent and retains the character and voice of the recorder and harpsichord which complement each other so well.
 
The Triste from the Sonata in F minor demonstrates Petri's ability to wrench the recorder out of its staid tradition of being purely pastoral. This interpretation and impassioned performance alerts the listener to the melodious capabilities and depth of the recorder. No longer solely sweet, clear and pretty, the sound of the slow movements is timeless and penetrating.
 
The Sonata in C major is a flowery dalliance. Reflecting light at every turn, this piece glistens with charm and style galante. In a selection of letters dating from 1742, Telemann asks for flowers as he says he is: 'insatiable where hyacinths and tulips are concerned, greedy for ranunculi, and especially for anemones'. A bouquet of direct melodic charm, rhythmic clarity and economy of scale, Telemann exudes beauty and finesse. Here, Petri blends focus and intensity (Larghetto) with speedy gestures.
 
As a hoarder of styles from France and Italy, Telemann's assimilation of various forms is combined with the ability to mould them into something different such as a Germanic Grave in the Sonata in C major. These qualities render these compositions free from the shackles of tradition. This CD of works by an innovative composer contains the most expertly crafted and attentively scored music with a frantic spark of imagination running through each piece. His associated range and sense of possibility would have an influence on J. S. Bach, who would then overshadow Telemann with his knotty contrapuntal scores. This CD firmly reinstates Telemann as not only a composer who was famed for his ability to 'write a motet for eight voices more quickly than one could write a letter', as Handel quipped, but as a composer who can voice agitation (Sonata in D minor) and delight (Sonata in B flat major). Accordingly, Petri's modulations from breathy exhales to crisp trills and Newman's ability to dart and dwell in the music, express the full range of Telemann's emotions. 

Lucy Jeffery , March 13th 2014
Music Web International

Great review on Telemann for TWO in The Classical Reviewer
The Classical Reviewer
16 November 2009
The Classical reviewer:Sunday, 2 March 2014
Michala Petri and Anthony Newman bring us hugely attractive sonatas for recorder and basso continuo by Telemann on a new release from OUR Recordings
Michala Petri www.michalapetri.com began playing the recorder at the age of three and could be heard for the first time on Danish radio by the age of five.  She made her debut as a concert soloist in 1969 at the Tivoli Concert Hall and, since then, the Danish artist has toured all the continents, and has appeared in the most famous concert halls in the world and many festivals.
Her repertoire ranges from baroque to the contemporary with many composers writing works for her. In the concert hall and on record, Michala Petri has worked with artists such as Heinz Holliger, James Galway, Gidon Kremer, Pinchas Zukerman, Claudio Abbado, Christopher Hogwood or Keith Jarrett; while ensembles such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Virtuosi, the Berlin Baroque Soloists or Kremerata Baltica have been her partners on stage or in the studio. Since 1992, Michala Petri has played with the guitarist and lutenist Lars Hannibal and has performed with him all over the world.

Over the years Michala Petri has received many honours and awards, including the German Echo Disc Award, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize, the Wilhelm Hansen Music Prize and the H.C. Lumbye Prize for her achievement in bringing classical music to a wide audience.    Michala Petri is Vice President of the Danish Society for Fighting Cancer and a board member of UNICEF Denmark.

Michala Petri's latest recording for OUR Recordings www.ourrecordings.com features Telemann's Sonatas for Recorder and Basso continuo with Petri joined by harpsichordist Anthony Newman www.anthonynewmanmusician.org

Of the six sonatas on this disc, the first four are from Der Getreue Musik-Meaister (The Faithful Music Master), a musical periodical (1728-29) jointly founded by Telemann featuring short compositions and lessons in the rudiments of musical theory. These are hugely attractive sonatas with some memorable tunes, especially as played by these two fine artists. The Vivace of Sonata in F major from this set is a gloriously lively piece with Michala Petri providing some lovely mellow recorder sounds, nicely balanced with the harpsichord continuo of Anthony Newman. Petri draws some lovely, fluent lines in the Largo with wonderfully expressive harpsichord accompaniment before a lively dancing Allegro with lovely sprung rhythms.

The Sonata in B flat major opens with a rather stately Largo and some terrific chords from the harpsichord with some lovely agile playing from Petri. The vibrant Allegro, where Telemann gives us such a stream of invention, receives some brilliant staccato playing from Petri before the Largo, full of affectingly melancholy sounds from Petri's recorder. The concluding Vivace is full of infectious playing from these two artists.

The solemn Triste that opens the Sonata in F minor is given a richly conceived performance, full of broad harpsichord chords around which the recorder weaves its theme. The opening of the Allegro has a steady pace but soon becomes vibrant with some really fine playing from both artists. The Vivace is truly a performance of virtuosity with Petri showing her incredible skills of fluency and agility. This is terrific playing.

In the Sonata in C major there is a beautifully paced Cantabile that has a particularly memorable tune and an Allegro that receives more formidable playing from Petri and Newman, with these two players seemingly knowing each other's thoughts. There is incredible agility of playing from Petri. The Grave brings more of Telemann's broad sonorous harpsichord chords as Petri weaves her recorder melody above. The Vivace is full of invention, receiving a terrific performance.

After the four sonatas from Der Getreue Musik-Meaister come two sonatas from Esserzicii Musici (Musician's Exercises), a misleading title as these pieces were apparently not intended as studies.

The first performed here is the Sonata in D minor with an Affettuoso that has a beguiling theme. The Presto shoots ahead with these two artists showing terrific ensemble and with more intricate playing from Petri in this quite intoxicating movement. As Newman 'strums' chords on his harpsichord in the third movement, Grave, Petri delivers a lovely flowing theme in this short link to the Allegro, another complete delight with simply stunning playing from Petri and Newman providing so much more than any mere accompaniment.

Finally we have the Sonata in C major with an opening movement marked Adagio that, nevertheless, has some spirited faster sections where Telemann gives us another fine tune, beautifully played. The lovely Larghetto has the recorder and harpsichord weaving the theme between them before the lively Vivace, full of terrific playing right up to the end.

These are terrific performances that receive a fine recording within a nice acoustic as well as excellent booklet notes. This release has a slightly shorter duration than most discs but given the quality of the performances and its on-line price, it is thoroughly recommendable. Bruce and Deborah Reader

The Classical Reviewer

The Recorder Magazine on Telemann for Two
The Recorder Magazine
08 November 2009
Michala Petri (recorder) and Anthony Newman's (harpsichord) new recording of Georg PhilippTeleman's (1681-1767)complete recorder sonatas is a welcome challenge to Handel's recorder sonatas. When
considering Telemann's profilic output it seems surprising that he only has six surviving recorder sonatas, especially as he was a talented recorder player. However, quality makes up for quantity as Telemann is a superb composer. Perhaps out of all the sonatas the Sonata in F Minor seems to be the most provocative and powerful, certainly in the first movement, "Triste", is very magically hypnotic and haunting. Petri manages to successfully communicate the emotional intensity and passion, supported brilliantly by Newman's accompaniment. This is followed by a fiery "Allegro". And the a beautiful emotional "Andante". This sonata then concludes with an excitingly virtuoso "Vivace" with fast and slick ornamentation from Petri enveloped around Newman's tight yet expressive continuo playing.
Overall this is a wonderfully entertaining new recording that displays the mastery of Telemann portrayed skilfully and virtuosically by Petri and Newman. Oliver Smith, The Recorder Magazine,- March 2014
The Recorder Magazine

Great review in German Magazine Fono Forum on Telemann for Two
Fono Forum
01 August 2009
Fono Forum Review on Telemann for Two
The passionate plea that appears in the opening paragraph of the booklet makes the case that the works of Telemann still require a justification and defense. And it is true, that for a long time the master was considered "merely" a prolific and the quality of his creations was often at best, mediocre. Meanwhile, as we have come to know parts of his oeuvre better, it is fair to say that while sometimes, for purely mercantile reasons he succeeded too well in accommodating the tastes of his customers, at others, he surpassed all of his peers with his ability to write with mastery in a variety of styles.
As for the recorder sonatas from the "Getreuen Music-Meister" and/or "Essercizii Musici", while written for the marketplace, are certainly more representative of the latter category. Not only are the different national styles presented here in a perfect form, but also the range between the plain and the ornate, between simplicity and brilliance are explored. There's something for everyone, without any chance that boredom might arise. And it is certainly the case that Michala Petri and Anthony Newman their have taken their share; both approach these works with a straightforward and above all, a completely unaffected playing.
Although Michala Petri can show every now and then just how many notes-per-second can come from a piece of wood, it is never passed off as an end in itself. Newman remains acoustically a little in the background, providing the recorder with an amazingly soft sounding foundation. After listening to this enjoyable "Popular Music", I find myself, no doubt like many, who wish that Telemann had been an even more prolific writer and had presented us with more pieces like these. - Reinmar Emans, February 2014
Fono Forum