Telemann: Concertos & divertimenti

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

WORKS: Concertos & divertimenti
PERFORMER: Musica Antiqua Cologne/Reinhard Goebel (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: 463 074-2
Reinhard Goebel and his Cologne musicians have put together a diverting Telemann programme, mostly, and characteristically, well off the beaten track. Indeed, from a colourfully varied clutch of seven works for strings, only the Viola Concerto is likely to strike a familiar note with readers. Telemann was fascinated by Polish folk rhythms almost throughout his life, and they acted frequently as a source of inspiration for colours and rhythmic patterns in his own music. Two Concertos polonois bear witness to his skill in incorporating such ideas into pieces of great charm and comparative sophistication. Both works were recorded many years ago by Eduard Melkus and his Vienna Capella Academica, but they have never, as far as I know, found their way on to CD. Goebel brings enormous character to the music, revelling in its rhythmic caprices and warm textures. The Viola Concerto comes over well, too, in the expressive hands of soloist Florian Deuter; his third-movement Andante must be the fastest on record; oddly enough, after the initial shock, it struck my ears as effective. But the greatest interest perhaps lies in two string divertimenti, dating from 1765. Though 84 years old, Telemann produced some astonishingly fresh, vigorous and stylistically advanced music in that year, including the dramatic cantata Ino which certainly must be considered among the very finest of all products of his pen. An excellent release.