Two masterpieces of the baroque concerto repertoire are for an early cousin of the clarinet, the chalumeau. Typically associated with pastoral imagery in baroque opera and oratorio (Fux, Conti and Vivaldi all wrote for it), the chalumeau’s haunting sounds proved attractive to Fasch and Telemann who both composed concertos for chalumeau and strings.
I performed both works this weekend with Linden Baroque, directed by my colleague from ensemble f2, Steven Devine. In the Telemann, written for two chalumeaux, I was partnered by my student, Sarah Smith, and later in the programme, another of my students, James Brookmyre, joined us in an Ouverture for three chalumeaux and strings by Graupner.
Thanks to Steven for initiating this concert, and hopefully something of a revival for the ‘angelic’ chalumeau!