XXIV Fantasie per il Flauto

Throughout the past years it has become more and more each recorder player initiative to widen the “repertoire horizon” of this versatile instrument, not only through (re-) discovering already existing original music for the recorder but also by arranging other music – and commissioning new contemporary pieces. The latter is an especially intriguing process as the collaboration with a living composer opens up many exciting possibilities of communication and experimentation for both player and composer. Inspired by the 250th anniversary of Georg Philipp Telemann in 2017 the City Music Foundation and I have therefore taken the opportunity to commission new works and creative perspectives based on baroque music and to strengthen the musical connection between the 18th and 21st centuries. These twelve new works are based on Telemann’s XII Fantasie per il Flauto senza Basso, with an additional piece reflecting on the whole of Telemann’s twelve solo Fantasias. Each of these freshly-penned pieces is a reflection on thematic, harmonic or rhythmic material taken from the Fantasias, a reply to Telemann’s musical thoughts.

The CD XXIV Fantasie per il Flauto was released by TYXart-the musicART label in April 2018. Here are excerpts from some of the reviews:

  • “Tabea Debus always finds the “right tone”, the right affect, the right tempo and also convinces by her clarity of articulation and shaping – as do the twelve “new” miniature fantasias by their extremely inventive and manifold relation to Telemann’s originals.” – klassik-heute
  • “Tabea Debus’s playing is  flawless: beautifully sounding, musically intelligent and her choice of instruments dramaturgically convincing” – Windkanal
  • “A new work of art has emerged! Thought up and interpreted by Tabea Debus, who, with her sensibility and intelligence and through her imaginative playing, holds the listener under her spell, and takes him with her into the world of Telemann’s Fantasias and onto a time travel into the world of the 21st century.” – Tibia
  • “Debus achievement in gathering together and playing this material is hard to underestimate. Her eloquence of phrasing and unfailingly intelligent musicianship, together with a charismatic virtuosity in any branch of music making, brings life to all of this music, whatever its epoch, whatever the approach. It is a deeply gifted artist who can make listening to twenty-four solo recorder fantasias, let alonge just Telemann’s twelve, such a compelling and rewarding experience.” – Recorder Magazine
  • “By adding contemporary compositions to Telemann’s 12 Fantasias, Tabea Debus realises appealing time leaps, and she plays with such fantasy that sometimes the boarders disappear and sound worlds melt.” – Pizzicato
  • “This enjoyable recital spins some surprises along the way. The use of the recorders on these Flute Fantasias offers variety and the contemporary reflections, whether standalone or interactive, are never less than fluent and engaging.” – MusicWeb International
  • “The range of contemporary musical styles is wide, and calls on Tabea Debus’s impressively wide range of virtuoso abilities, including singing into, and alongside, the recorders… This is a very impressive venture by a young performer, who is clearly marking out an impressive musical career.” – Andrew Benson Wilson
  • “Without doubt this is a recorder disc filled with musical surprises, discoveries, and light bulb moments – enthusiasts of high quality recorder music in a completely new guise will love this.” – Glarean Magazin

“I was very excited to get involved in this project with Tabea Debus and the City Music Foundation – I had not previously written for recorder, and therefore this has been a fantastic journey exploring the instrument and its capabilities. Solo works are always a challenge for a composer as it truly exposes both us and the performer, though working with Tabea has been an absolute pleasure and I am confident that she will perform the work exceptionally.”Dani Howard

“It has been a very exciting project to be a part of and I am loving getting to know a whole family of instruments that is completely new to me. I have been studying my assigned Fantasia and have created my own ‘response’ to it by writing two additional movements in my own style to complement the existing ones.”Misha MullovAbbado

“It is always a pleasure to compose for a world-class performer, and even more so for such an exciting and innovative project. The project has given the chance to really get inside the Telemann Fantasias to understand what gives them their character, before creating a new piece reflecting on this, and taking into consideration the musical and instrumental developments that have occurred in the nearly 300 years since the Fantasias were composed. In composing for this project it has been a great pleasure to be able to learn more about the recorder and to be able to incorporate extended techniques that are specific to the instrument.”Alastair Penman

  • Dani Howard: “Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight” (No. 1)
  • Alastair Penman: “Mirrored Lines” (No. 2)
  • Oliver Leith “Bendy Broken Telemann” (No. 3)
  • Leo Chadburn: “Si la passion pour les plantes exotiques” (No. 4)
  • Fumiko Miyachi: “Air” (No. 5)
  • Max de Wardener (No. 6)
  • Arne Gieshoff: “Entr’acte” (No. 7)
  • Ronald Corp: “Meditation and Gigue” (No. 8)
  • Moritz Eggert: “Fantasia in Stereo” (No. 9)
  • Misha Mullov-Abbado “Fantasia 10.2.0” (No. 10)
  • Frank Zabel “…fizzling out…” (No. 11)
  • Colin Matthews “Meditation“ (No. 12)
  • Laura Bowler: “TV Man” (all Fantasias)


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