Infodad, May 2022

Telemann’s Fantasias, a set of a dozen works dating to 1735, have recently gone through something of a rediscovery and are increasingly being performed by first-rate violinists. One such is Tomás Cotik, whose new Centaur recording of these short works nicely balances heft with levity...The most-effective way to approach the set is therefore simply to consider each piece as an individual work and perform it with attention to its unique qualities – rather than trying to make it sound like an element of something larger. And this individuation is just what Cotik offers...Certainly there is feeling in these works from time to time, notably in movements labeled Siciliana or grave, but by and large, as Cotik makes clear, Telemann’s interest here is more in fleeting pleasantries than in extended emoting. Cotik plays the works on a modern violin, but using a Baroque bow, creating an interesting melding of time periods that he carries through by being sensitive to elements of Baroque style without coming across as pedantic. The overall feeling that comes through here is of a performer who genuinely enjoys presenting this music – a nice complement to the strong suspicion that Telemann, far from seeking to impose artificial order or structure on these fantasias, himself genuinely enjoyed creating and then playing them.

Mark Estren