The young musicians emerging from the vigorous historical-performance education programs of northwestern Europe have increasingly often turned to the vast body of chamber music by Georg Philipp Telemann, intent on raising his reputation from that of prolific scribbler to something resembling the esteem in which he was held in his own time. This delightful disc will help in the enterprise, for the Dutch-based group La Primavera brings to Telemann's music a clarity that illuminates the kaleidoscopic textures and the sheer imaginative fun of his music. These chamber pieces are long on charm and never really weighty. But they break through the generic boundaries of the day -- consider the first and third works on the album, where the harpsichord is emancipated from its role as accompanimental instrument. And they are full of moves that break up the texture for no other reason than to offer sensuous delight -- in this music, one hears the style that would be called galant as it takes shape. The players of La Primavera bring all this out admirably. The harpsichord's changing roles are sensitively elucidated by Menno van Delft, and the recorder of Clémence Comte, here as elsewhere, is a marvel of intonational accuracy, both in itself and in its incorporation into complex ensemble textures. The balance among the instruments is remarkably precise throughout, and the overall impression is one of ease attained through sustained effort. Highly recommended, for anything from a garden party to a serious collection focusing on late Baroque style, and extra points for the fanciful flora and fauna (watch out for the roach) that decorate the booklet.
Telemann: Trios & Concerto Review
by James Manheim