Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:


Concerts and Suites 1734
Camerata Koln.
CPO 999 690 - 2. 3 CDs. (DDD) (159.12)
Crotchet  £25.49

It is very difficult to review over two and an half hours of music that is predominantly the same in style and forces.

Listening to these concerts and suites separately is far better. What we have is a total of 69 short tracks of extremely elegant music played most beautifully but it takes some stamina to listen to so much in one hearing.

Telemann was a great composer. To the discerning muisican probably greater than Bach, largely because Telemann's music was not so academic and more spontaneous. He wrote marvellous choral works and passions. He was also a progressive composer taking on board certain styles and influences of his time. He was a developing composer. His music has a greater nobility that the great J.S. Bach although one does not question the genius of the master. He wrote music for practical purposes such as the home and for educational reasons ... what Hindemith called utility music. He wrote for the courts and the church and his music maintains a grace not always associated with early composers.

He was very prolific and, as a result, his music varies in quality. But that can be said of Bach and Mozart and many others. But his music was also challenging to play if not virtuosic.

The Six Concerts and Six Suites date from 1734 and shows some French influence.. for example, the use of the word concert instead of concerto as would the Italians use. Telemann sticks to the same plan in all these works and so they are really a family of twelve.

The playing and recorded sound is excellent. The picture of the group on the back of the booklet is confusing. We have two violinists pictured but inside only one violinist is named.

I have heard this group many times and I believe that they are the exemplars of this music.

David Wright



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