Georg Philipp Telemann was one of the most prolific composers of the Baroque era, and his extremely varied oeuvre reveals a knack for experimentation and instrumentation that went beyond routine assignments of parts to conventional groupings. The works on this 2017 Harmonia Mundi album from the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin feature various combinations of trumpets, flutes, oboes, horns, timpani, and the standard deployment of strings and basso continuo, but also the mandolin, the hammered dulcimer, the harp, and the extremely rare calchedon (also called mandora, galizona, or gallichon), the long-necked lute depicted on the cover that was typically used as a bass instrument. The Akademie's brilliant performances in a historically informed style would make this program attractive even if the music were mundane, but these are among Telemann's most vivid concerted pieces, and the imaginative combinations and colorful playing are sure to please listeners, including the most jaded critics of Telemann's facility. Harmonia Mundi's recorded sound is immaculate, and the acoustics of Teldec Studio in Berlin give the group a delicious resonance. Highly recommended as one of the finest albums of 2017.
Telemann: Concerti per molti stromenti Review
by Blair Sanderson