Telemann: The Grand Concertos for Mixed Instruments Vol. 2

La Stagione Frankfurt, Michael Schneider
59:36
cpo 777 890-2
TWV 52:a1, 53:D4 & D5, 54:D4 & B2

This is a real treat for the ears – not only is Telemann’s fabulous music beautifully served (as we now expect from Schneider & Co.), but the diversity of instrumental colour is just another reason why the hour rushes by. Four of the five works follow the standard slow-quick-slow-quick da chiesa format, while the final concerto dispenses with the first of the four; here it is called a concerto from violin, trumpet, strings and continuo, but it also has an obbligato part for cello (in both the Dresden and the Darmstadt sources), which is why its catalogue number begins TWV 53… It also has three ripieno violin parts and two violas, so it is a rich texture indeed, to which the trumpet does little more than add some colour in the tuttis. The trumpet player has meatier fare elsewhere – one of the composer’s best-known works is his concerto for trumpet choir and strings – I first remember hearing it on what was for me an earth-moving recording by the AAM under Hogwood. This present rendition is equally revelatory, for never has the sound of the trumpet choir sounded so martial and (in a good way) “listen to us!” The tempi are faster than Hogwood’s but it’s the energy that is uplifting. Telemanniacs will need no recommendation from me to buy this, but if there are still any cynics out there, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Brian Clark