Holland Baroque returns to NativeDSD with Telemann Polonoise, their 9th album at Native. The album is another of their fine and unique DSD Stereo and DSD Multichannel releases. Aisslinn Nosky, one of the most pioneering and adventurous violinists of the Northern-American early music scene, joins Holland Baroque on this release making it her Pentatone debut.
Polonoise is a program for curious listeners who want to discover a different side of Telemann. His manuscript Danses d’Polonie (TWV 45), in which he wrote down the dance music he heard during his Polish travels, was the impetus for this album.
Taking this as a point of departure, Holland Baroque, and violinist Aisslinn Nosky explore how Telemann applied the Polish style in his own works. Polonoise takes the listener on an imaginary journey to the wild nature, the slopes, and the picturesque village taverns of Poland. Arranged by the ensemble’s artistic leaders Judith and Tineke Steenbrink, Telemann’s Polish concertos and dances sound brisker than ever before.
Holland Baroque is an original and innovative baroque orchestra that approaches baroque repertoire through a fresh and contemporary outlook, with a focus on improvisation and collaborations with outstanding artists from different traditions. Polonoise is their second Pentatone release, after their well-received Silk Baroque (2019), together with Wu Wei (also available from NativeDSD Music). And many more Holland Baroque recordings are available in DSD at NativeDSD Music on the Channel Classics label.
Aisslinn Nosky, Violin
Total time: 01:07:36
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Judith Steenbrink, Tineke Steenbrink (Holland Baroque) & Kate Rockett (Pentatone)
|Original Recording Format|
Musis, Arnhem, The Netherlands (August 2020)
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|Release Date||January 15, 2021|
BBC Music Magazine
Telemann himself acknowledged his fascination with Polish folk music: first encountered early in his life. It left an indelible mark on his music, and contributed, along with French, Italian and indigenous German music, to the mixed style of which Telemann was a fluent master.
Much music on this album has been recorded in the past. New, though, are several arrangements by the artistic leaders of the ensemble, Judith and Tineke Steenbrink. Most of the arrangements are of short dances from a manuscript discovered in 1987 bearing the title Danse Polonie de Tellemann. These take their place alongside two of Telemann’s most interesting works in the Polish vein, the Concerto Polonoise in B flat and the Concerto alla Polonese in G major.
As with the manuscript dances, a suite for two lutes has been arranged for string ensemble – Telemann lovers with long memories may recall a similar arrangement played by Eduard Melkus and his Capella Academica Wien in a late 1960s recording. A handful of dances drawn from the composer’s orchestral ouverture-suites and a group of Hanakian dances belonging to the Hana region of Bohemia make up the remainder of the program.
Holland Baroque, imaginatively directed by Aisslinn Nosky, consists of three violins, viola, cello, lute, and harpsichord. The playing is vivacious and full of character. The musical highlights are the two concertos, already mentioned. The artists revel in the drones, unisons and chromaticisms which lend them such distinctive color. Two movements of particular charm are the Dolce and Largo, a haunting mazurka, of the G major Concerto.
The players of Holland Baroque, together with violinist Aisslinn Nosky, take the listener on a journey to the wild nature and lively folk culture of Poland, viewed through the lens of Georg Philipp Telemann, whose Polish travels left a profound mark on his compositional style. Arranged by the ensemble’s artistic leaders Judith and Tineke Steenbrink, Telemann’s Polish concertos and dances sound brisker than ever before.
Violinist Judith and harpsichordist Tineke Steenbrink from Oeffelt never mince their words: ‘Baroque is now’. And the sisters live up to this famous statement time and again with their ensemble Holland Baroque. Like no other Early Music group, they know how to build bridges between past and present through all kinds of unexpected collaborations. The approach of the album Polonoise, released internationally last month on Pentatone, is original as well. The recording was made in our good old Musis Sacrum in Arnhem.
This time, Holland Baroque focuses on a musical notebook entitled ‘Polish Dance’, which Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) compiled while travelling through Poland. The Hamburg-based composer wrote down in melody the folk music he heard in pubs and taverns and used it to his advantage when composing new music. After all these centuries, the Steenbrinks do the same and take care of the polyphonic arrangements themselves. And they know how to do it! The repertoire is divided into groups, entitled Polonié, Polonesie, Partie Polonois, Hanac and two concertos in B-flat and G.
In the new, updated version, it is not a question of polishing everything or of courtly restraint. On the contrary, the melancholic, occasionally rough folk element is made even more powerful. Holland Baroque is warmly assisted by the Canadian violinist Aisslinn Nosky.
The end result? At times a completely different Telemann than the one we are used to. Take the Polonia block in which, after three folk music-like pieces, the Italian sun suddenly shines into the Polish inn during the Allegro. A moment later, during the Tourbillon, the music suddenly catches fire. Boy, what a tempo Holland Baroque develops here; this is Baroque at its most fiery.
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