Telemann: Essercizii musici Spelling?

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COMPOSERS: Telemann
LABELS: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
WORKS: Essercizii musici Spelling?
PERFORMER: Camerata Köln
CATALOGUE NO: 05472 77361 2
We have been waiting a long time for a complete recording of what may justifiably be regarded as Telemann’s finest printed collection of instrumental chamber music. Essercizii musici was published in Hamburg in about 1739 and consists of an orderly sequence of 12 trio sonatas, ten sonatas for melody instruments with continuo and two suites for harpsichord solo. There is not a weak piece among them and the collection rightly takes its place among the most accomplished chamber music anthologies of the late Baroque.

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Camerata Köln performs splendidly. It is an ensemble whose programming has sometimes seemed to outstrip its powers of interpretation; but here all is played with an easy virtuosity, demonstrating an awareness both of the composer’s fluent understanding of the instruments for which he wrote, and of his distinctive expressive language. This is often deeper than is readily conceded by commentators, revealing itself above all in melancholy suspensions and affective instrumental dialogue. At such moments as these, Telemann is no petit maître, but a composer whose contribution to mid-18th-century music is both inspired and significant. Not for nothing was he admired by contemporaries at home and abroad for his consummate skill in the art of writing trios. A richly rewarding experience for players and audiences alike. Nicholas Anderson