Tomorrow I’m performing a solo concert on the island of Mallorca. I’ll be playing works for viola da gamba by Telemann, Abel and Marais.
It’s always a challenge to play a solo concert and the culmination of many hours of work. I decided to organise a last minute try-out concert to help my preparations. But because it was SOOO last minute, all I could manage was to perform in our neighbourhood playground and invite the entire street. Surprisingly, it was a wonderful evening as you can see in the photo! Many people turned up and stayed for the whole hour 😁
The March edition of the German early music magazine, concerto, carried several reviews of recent Telemann recordings. There were kind words for my Telemann Fantasias:
Smith betont die klassiche Noblesse der kompositionen under findet den dazu passenden eleganten Ton.
Smith emphasizes the classical nobility of the compositions and finds the appropriate elegant tone.
On the 31st December, BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show broadcast a solo concert of Telemann and Abel that I played at the Little Missenden Festival in October. You can listen back to the broadcast for the next month here:
Very happy to have made it into Europadisc’s top ten of 2017. Visit their page here:
Mooi recensie in Trouw op 8 december 2017:
Smith is consciëntieus en paart zijn fijn uitgewerkte handvaardigheid aan een speelse toon, zo nu en dan zwiert hij over de snaren. Heel precies bepaalt hij de hoeveelheid licht die hij doorlaat in Telemanns muziek, maar het licht dát schijnt is altijd helder en kent rijke kleurschakeringen.
(Smith is conscientious and combines his finely worked-out craftsmanship with a playful tone, now and then gliding over the strings. He precisely determines the amount of light he allows into Telemann’s music, and the light that shines is always clear with rich shades of colour.)
Kijk naar Podium Witteman op 19 november. Ton Koopman ontvangt zijn Edison Prijs, en samen met countertenor Maarten Engeltjes spelen wij Buxtehudes prachtige en vrolijke Jubilate Domino! Watch again here:
Two great Telemann reviews in from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine!
BBC gave a double 5-star review, for Performance and Recording!
Robert Smith is not the first in the field with his recording, but the expressive warmth … feeling for rhetoric and accomplished technique deserve to win many friends.
And Lindsay Kemp at Gramophone commented:
Smith navigates Telemann’s fleeting moods with assurance and focus – whether in the concentrated harmonies of a grave slow movement or in the sprightly dancelike release of an allegro finale – and finds tellingly timed rhetorical space between phrases.
Tonight the Telemann Fantasias are being broadcast over the internet by the Concertzender Nederland. The programme is Nuove Musiche and can be found here: https://www.concertzender.nl/programma/nuove_musiche_415198/
The broadcast should be available for several days afterwards.
Fantasticus just finished recording their latest CD, Louis-Gabriel Guillemain’s Op.12 Quartets for Flute, Violin, Viola da gamba and harpsichord. We had the immense pleasure of working with the great Wilbert Hazelzet on traverso flute. The recording should appear sometime next year on Resonus Classics, so keep an eye on this space – or better still the Fantasticus facebook page: www.facebook.com/fantasticus.baroque/