Pizzicato, May 2022

The twelve fantasies for violin by Telemann are among the few surviving works of this genre from the Baroque period. The designation fantasia alone indicates a freer style than the sonata. However, Telemann also remains largely faithful to three or four movements. The movements are predominantly headed with tempo markings, occasionally as dance movements. The final movements each give a virtuosic template to be filled with personal interpretation.
Tomas Cotik describes his ideas in the accompanying booklet. In addition to a baroque bow, he has used softer synthetic strings and left the tuning at 440 hertz, close to what is common today. In intonation, he prefers pure fifths and fourths and intuitively adjusts thirds and sixths when necessary in chords. Many other considerations become apparent when reading the text.
Practically, Cotik creates a compendium that is uniform in style, yet gives character to each of the 44 movements. Cotik follows the idea that these works for a solo instrument, though here composed out, were actually intended for free improvisation. In this respect, he employs a number of interpretive means to create a narrative thread that seems spontaneous, even with stops and waymarks. In this way he achieves an overall lively sound. Cotik manages throughout to implement his ideas in a comprehensible way...and offers a view of this collection worth hearing.

Uwe Krusch