LABELS: Harmonia Mundi
ALBUM TITLE: Telemann
WORKS: Concerti per molti stromenti
PERFORMER: Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
CATALOGUE NO: HMM 902261
Though hugely popular in their day, Telemann’s Concerti per molti stromenti are overshadowed now by Bach’s better-known Brandenburgs. Yet these felicitous, multi-instrument works show Georg Philipp’s endlessly fertile and capricious imagination. There are concertos that brilliantly present unusual and often unlikely combinations of solo instruments: a trio of horns with violin; trumpets with oboes and timpani, or flutes with a calchedon (a type of lute). Such colourful scorings inspire some of Telemann’s most delightful and variegated music, in which he melds Teutonic rigour with Italian brio and French theatricality in a fluid synthesis of European styles.
Celebrating its 35th birthday this year, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin has led the vanguard of Baroque performance since 1982. Telemann’s music is a perfect showcase for its virtuoso soloists as well as their sensitivity as chamber musicians. Notable are the three trumpeters, who soar and twiddle with deceptive ease in the D major Concerto; the oboist Xenia Löffler, who breathes graceful shape into its wistful Largo; and flautists Christoph Huntgeburth and Andrea Theinert, whose sweet and seductive sounds enchant in the B minor Concerto. The disc also includes an arrangement for mandolin, harp and hammered dulcimer of one of Telemann’s table-music concertos, the trio of twangling strings weaving a delicate musical tapestry, fit to adorn the finest court banquet.
Listen to an excerpt from this recording, here.