Telemann: Chamber Music

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COMPOSERS: Telemann
LABELS: Erato
WORKS: Chamber Music
PERFORMER: Amsterdam Baroque Soloists/Ton Koopman
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-94355-2 DDD
Telemann’s easy facility as a composer has led to accusations of a lack of originality which these two new issues do much to challenge. With excellent balance and an incisive edge to their sound, Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists offer a well-balanced programme which focuses on Telemann’s exploitation of tonal colour through instrumentally versatile combinations. Imaginative scoring contrasts wind and strings, and treble and bass instruments to reveal an astonishing timbral and textural range. Bright, playful passagework in the first of two G major quartets on the disc and the C major Recorder Sonata establishes this Amsterdam group’s excellent ensemble and crisp articulation and, with more sombre instrumentation in the B flat minor Trio Sonata and F minor Bassoon Sonata, they vividly demonstrate their broad range of tonal variety and mood.

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By contrast, Hazelzet and Trio Sonnerie offer a more uniform, highly-polished sound to emphasise Telemann’s stylistic diversity. Their extremely fluent performances are distinguished by taste and elegance throughout, and they are as comfortable with the overt virtuosity of the D major Concerto as they are with Telemann’s synthesis of national styles in the G major Quartet. The confirmation of Telemann’s remarkable musical and stylistic diversity which these new issues provide should make them popular with collectors. Nicholas Rast