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BBC Music Magazine (10/2019)
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CPO 5552392

Telemann: The Grand Concertos for Mixed Instruments Vol. 6 Product Image

Code-barres / Barcode : 761203523924

Appréciation d'ensemble / Overall evaluation :

Reviewer: Nicholas Anderson

This is the final volume of Telemann’s so-called Grand Concertos. Together with the already issued series of Wind Concertos, La Stagione Frankfurt under Michael Schneider’s direction provides us with a 14-disc conspectus of the composer’s colourful writing for wind instruments. This release contains two of his finest concertos, both of them belonging to Telemann’s impressive anthology, Musique de Table, one of whose subscribers was Handel. The Concerto for two horns, two violins and strings amply demonstrates Telemann’s deft hand, and ear, in writing for wind instruments. The Concerto for flute, violin and cello is one of the composer’s most accomplished achievements, forward-looking in its musical idiom and enchanting in the dialogue of its concertante protagonists. Schneider oversees a reading of pure enchantment, with eloquently articulated phrases. A performance to treasure.

The remainder of the disc contains a Sinfonia melodica – in essence a seven-movement suite, dating from 1766 when the composer was 85 years old; the wellknown Concerto in B flat for three oboes, three violins and continuo; and a ‘Concerto’, ‘Sonata’, ‘Septet’ for oboes, bassoon and strings. None of these qualifies as a ‘grand concerto’, and none fares as well as the two major works in the programme.

The opening Gravement of the E minor Septet is one of Telemann’s most elegiac compositions, but it is expressively under-nourished here.

Ending on a positive note, the series is a considerable achievement, filling in what had been a far from complete picture. Safe and sound throughout, though sometimes just a shade routine.


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