Telemann: Sinfonia spirituosa, TWV 44:1; Violin Concerto in A, TWV 51:A4; Concertos for Four Violins, TWV 40:201, 202, 203

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COMPOSERS: Telemann
LABELS: DG Archiv
WORKS: Sinfonia spirituosa, TWV 44:1; Violin Concerto in A, TWV 51:A4; Concertos for Four Violins, TWV 40:201, 202, 203
PERFORMER: Musica Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel
CATALOGUE NO: 471 492-2
This new issue by Reinhard Goebel and Musica Antiqua Köln is one of their strongest to date. The programme is imaginative, the content varied and the playing of a very high order. At its heart lie Telemann’s three originally conceived and skilfully crafted concertos for four unaccompanied violins. Two of them featured in one of Goebel’s earliest recordings for DG Archiv but the new version surpasses even the elevated standards set by the other. Hard on the heels of a recent performance by the Berlin Academy of Ancient Music (Harmonia Mundi) comes another reading of Telemann’s Violin Concerto Die Relinge (The Frogs). Heavily dependent upon onomatopoeia, its humour wears a bit thin after a time; but the piece is tautly and rather untypically constructed and, in a performance of such vitality and mischievous humour as this, will probably find a good many takers. The Overture (Suite) in D for viola da gamba and strings is more substantial and more rewarding. Soloist Jaap ter Linden is an eloquent player who finds more to say about the music than many of his rivals have done. Goebel’s programme is framed by two pieces which serve to underline Telemann’s pioneering and forward-looking musical personality. Both look towards the style galant, the Symphony in D being a product of the composer’s very last years. Excellent. Nicholas Anderson

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