Les Esprits Animaux
Musica Ficta MF8029
This is the second review of this recording we have received. You can find the other here.
Those with knowledge of Telemann’s biography will know that he worked in neither Dresden nor Darmstadt, all the works recorded here linked with those
In fact there is a much more to it than that. For some years Les Esprits Animaux has shown itself to be one of the foremost Baroque chamber ensembles, its performances above all notable for a sense of spontaneity rarely encountered in this repertoire. Mention above of the word ‘riffs’, more frequently associated with jazz, was not accidental, for there is a strong feeling of the improvisatory about all Les Esprits do. The music lives from bar to bar, every gesture counting and contributing to an exhilarating sense of fantasy, of bizzarie. It is necessary to go no further than the beguiling opening Dolce of the Concerto alla Polonaise to hear the stylishly delicate manner in which first violinist Javier Lupiáñez embellishes repeats to know there will be nothing routine about these beautifully played and balanced performances. Caveats? Well, just occasionally I feel the animal spirits run away with the performers a little too much, leading them to excessively fast tempi, as in the Allegro ma non troppo finale of TWV43:G8. Other than that this a disc that conveys the sheer joy of music making to a degree rarely experienced. If you’ve yet to catch up with the unbounded pleasure of listening to Les Esprits Animaux this is the time to rectify the omission.