August 2016 Convention
San Diego, CA

Telemann's 12 Fantasias on a Panoply of Flutes

Linda Pereksta

photo by Brian Covington

I attended Linda Pereksta’s presentation of the 12 Fantasias by Telemann and continued to be amazed at the abilities of this extraordinary artist. No doubt, most are familiar with Telemann’s Fantasias for solo flute, each a miniature that addresses stylized forms of the high Baroque era, but Pereksta’s presentation was notable first for presenting the whole set, one after another—no mean feat of stamina and concentration; notable secondly for performing the cycle on five different reproductions of 17th– and 18th–century instruments; and notable thirdly for the freshness of her interpretation.

I have, on occasion, featured just one of Telemann’s Fantasias on a recital. But hearing the whole cycle unfold was a new experience, showing in clear relief the variety of tonalities and forms.

In addition, Pereksta used the Fantasias as a platform to introduce a variety of instruments and, in certain cases, to perform on an instrument that reflected musical style and tradition; for instance, she performed Fantasia No. 7, alla francese, on a reproduction of a flute by French craftsman Jean-Jacques Rippert. She took advantage of the mostly diatonic No. 5 in C Major to introduce a one-piece Renaissance-style, tenor flute after Schnitzer. Even the alto recorder found a home in a transposed version on No. 9, providing the listener with an opportunity to compare the expressive quality of flute vs. recorder.

In the end, Linda Pereksta’s variety of articulation and imaginative ornamentation and her ability to musically recount the story brought new life to these masterpieces of the high Baroque.

—Wendell Dobbs