- Fantasias (12), for viola da gamba, TWV 40:26-37
The "12 fantasias for viola da gamba" recorded here by gambist Robert Smith were rediscovered only in 2015. Smith terms the rediscovery an event "that viol players dreamed about," for Telemann also wrote popular works for solo violin and flute. These fantasias, although written for the same amateur market, are not really comparable to the violin and flute works. They aren't fantasias in the later sense; all but one are cast in three movements, and they're very sonata-like, with dance-like finales (although not named dances). The fantasy element seems to consist of the distinct mood each one has: sample the first movement of the "Fantasia No. 3 in E minor, TWV 40:28," which is melancholy not simply because of its minor key, but because of a nifty combination of a Baroque sixth figure with a very proto-Classical emphasis on melody. For Telemann enthusiasts this album will be major news, and it's listenable for anyone, even if 12 of these fantasies at a stretch is quite a few. Resonus' church sound is too live for what was certainly chamber music. The fantasias could certainly fit into any number of Baroque programming ideas, and Smith has performed a valuable service by unearthing them.