Telemann: Fourth Book of Quartets

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LABELS: Music & Arts
WORKS: Fourth Book of Quartets
PERFORMER: American Baroque
CATALOGUE NO: CD 1066 AAD Reissue (1989)
These six Quartets for flute, violin, viola/viola da gamba and continuo are puzzling on almost all counts. Though printed in Paris in 1752 they are not part of the genuine ‘Paris Quartet’ set of 1738. Nor are they incontrovertibly the work of Telemann. But on stylistic grounds it does seem likely, though we should not rule out an imitator, French perhaps, who in collusion with the publisher saw an opportunity to make some money following the enormous success of Telemann’s Paris visit in 1737-8. The performances by American Baroque are sympathetic but, though they were indeed ‘World Premier Recordings’ in 1989, when the disc was first issued on Koch, an alternative version with flautist Wilbert Hazelzet now exists on Globe. Both can be recommended. Nicholas Anderson