Telemann: Flute Quartets, TWV 43 (various)

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COMPOSERS: Telemann
LABELS: DG Archiv
ALBUM TITLE: Telemann
WORKS: Flute Quartets, TWV 43 (various)
PERFORMER: Musica Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel
CATALOGUE NO: 477 5379
Telemann’s pioneering spirit can be best heard in the vocal music of his old age and in the many quartets he wrote at various times in his life. Here Reinhard Goebel presents most of those quartets neither included in the various printed editions with Paris associations, nor in the Musique de table anthology of 1733. These reveal Telemann as an accomplished and fastidious craftsman, with an acute sense of effective colour and an ability to blend stylistically divergent features into a fluent and satisfying whole. Indeed, the A minor Quartet, whose scheme comes close to that of Vivaldi’s chamber concertos, and the two G major quartets which follow it are as impressive as any of the published quartets. In the two G major pieces, Goebel has opted for Telemann’s alternative scoring for flute and two violins rather than flute with two viole da gamba.

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The performances are characteristically energetic and stylish though I often felt that faster movements fared better than slower ones; the partly French inspired délicatesse of those marked dolce, soave, or affettuoso is only captured intermittently. This apart, the disc is admirable. Nicholas Anderson