In the Telemann mountains, much of the topography remains terra incognita because most of Telemann's music remains an undiscovered country. But whatever future generations of hardy musicologists may uncover, it is unlikely that Telemann's Nouveaux Quatuors en Six Suites published in Paris in 1738 will be displaced as among his output's highest peaks. Their graceful elegance, their tender expressivity, their extraordinary colors, their buoyant rhythms: all these things place Telemann's Paris quartets not only among the peaks of his output but among the peaks of late-Baroque chamber music.
Certainly, these 1964 recordings by the Quadro Amsterdam are unlikely to be displaced as among the peaks of the early music revival. With the dulcet recorder playing of Frans Brüggen, the refined violin playing of Jaap Schroder, the stylish cello playing of Anner Bylsma, and of course the masterful harpsichord playing of Gustav Leonhardt, the Quadro Amsterdam remains unchallenged as the most beautiful and the most musical of all early music chamber ensembles. Whatever Telemann's quartets call for -- delicacy, ardor, wit, affection, strength -- the Brüggen, Schroder, Bylsma, and Leonhardt quartet supply it in fullest measure. And that the second disc is filled out with Schroder and Brüggen's recordings of Telemann's charming Suite in F major and Suite in E flat major only adds to the richness of the set. Teldec's stereo sound was clear and warm in its day and still sounds splendid in this 1993 digital remastering.