Arion

Telemann: Tutti Flauti!

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AllMusic Review by

This little disc of Telemann concertos from Dutch director Jaap ter Linden and a collection of French Canadian early music specialists should be enjoyable for anybody. From the vast field of Telemann concertos ter Linden extracts a group that naturally flow from one to another and illuminate each other. There is virtuosic writing, as in the Concerto for recorder, string orchestra, and continuo in F major, TWV 51: F1, in both the Allegro second movement and, less typically, the final pair of minuets. The only complaint about the booklet is that it does not definitively indicate which of the soloists is playing in which piece; this concerto presumably features Matthias Maute, who devised the cadenza. There are technically simpler pieces in which the concerto grosso format is wittily extended or French and Italian styles are inventively mixed. The highlight is saved for the end: the Concerto for flute, recorder, string orchestra, and continuo in E minor, TWV 52: c1, offers a brillliant treatment of the contrast between these two closely related instruments and closes with a fabulous romp through Polish folk rhythms at Presto speed. The entire ensemble crisply hangs together in the fast movements, and the degree of transparency ter Linden achieves with the texture is impressive. There's an elusive sense of fun in Telemann that is essential to an enjoyable performance, and it's present here, even if somewhat diminished by rather brittle church sound. On the whole, another successful release from the early-music.com label, which despite its name seems to have been mostly oriented toward physical product so far.

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