Telemann: Concertos

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

WORKS: Concertos
PERFORMER: Berlin Baroque Soloists/Rainer Kussmaul
The Berlin Baroque Soloists is an ensemble not of period instruments but of modern ones. And very good it is too, though I must warn readers that the extravagant claim for six of the eight concertos as being ‘unknown works’ is very wide of the mark. Collectors may already have the Oboe d’amore Concerto in a performance by Sarah Francis (Unicorn), the A major Violin Concerto with Pavlo Beznosiuk (Decca) and the G major Violin Concerto with Paul Peabody (Essay); that reduces the number of ‘unknown’ pieces to three: two concertos with horns and another for two violins. Sorry if I seem pedantic but this is a disc which clearly sets out to attract listeners on the strength of novelty value. It need not have done so for, as I say, this is an excellent chamber ensemble which breathes life into each and every item of its programme. Far and away the best-known piece is the Viola Concerto, one of the first such pieces for this member of the violin family. Soloist Wolfram Christ plays it with greater warmth of tone, fantasy and expressive fervour than any rival performance that I can recall. And much else here is of the same high quality; the ‘unknown’ works, if they really are, being well worth airing. Nicholas Anderson