Telemann in Minor

Pratum Integrum Orchestra

Original Recording Format: DSD 64

A perceptive stylist and a man with an inexhaustibly inventive mind, a musical erudite whose creative heritage in all the genres prevailing in his time is so great that its scope and variety of solutions capture even the wildest imagination, a man epitomizing the glory of German art in the eyes of enlightened Europeans of the first part of the 18th century, Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) is one of those composers whose artistic work has not been properly appreciated yet. 
Telemann’s creative uniqueness is said to be perceived only when his music is compared with that of his two great contemporaries – Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friederich Händel. But Telemann’s numerous compositions are so good, fresh and fascinating that nowadays we just wish to hear his wonderful music again and again and enjoy it without trying to make profound comparisons.


Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo-Ouverture
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo -Les Plaisirs
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo - Loure
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo - Furies
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo -Rigaudon en Rondeau
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo - Menuet
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo - Les Matelots
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo - Gigue angloise
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo - Rondeau
Orchestral Suite in A minor for two Oboes, Bassoon, Strings and Basso Continuo - Hornpipe
Sonata in F minor for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Adagio
Sonata in F minor for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Allegro
Sonata in F minor for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Largo
Sonata in F minor for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Presto
Concerto in E minor for Flute, Violin, Strings and Basso Continuo - Allegro
Concerto in E minor for Flute, Violin, Strings and Basso Continuo - Adagio
Concerto in E minor for Flute, Violin, Strings and Basso Continuo - Presto
Concerto in E minor for Flute, Violin, Strings and Basso Continuo - Adagio
Concerto in E minor for Flute, Violin, Strings and Basso Continuo - Allegro
Sonata in B-flat major for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Adagio
Sonata in B-flat major for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Allegro
Sonata in B-flat major for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Adagio
Sonata in B-flat major for two Violins, two Violas, Cello and Basso Continuo - Allegro
Concerto in E minor for Violin, two Flutes, Strings and Basso Continuo - Larghetto
Concerto in E minor for Violin, two Flutes, Strings and Basso Continuo - Allegro
Concerto in E minor for Violin, two Flutes, Strings and Basso Continuo - Largo
Concerto in E minor for Violin, two Flutes, Strings and Basso Continuo - Presto

Total time: 00:57:09

Additional information








, ,

Original Recording Format

Digital Converters

Meitner Design


Microphones – Neumann km130 DPA (B & K) 4006 ; DPA (B & K) 4011 SCHOEPS mk2S ; SCHOEPS mk41


Michael Serebryanyi

Recording Engineer

Erdo Groot, Roger de Schot

Recording location

5th Studio of the Russian Television and Radio, Moscow, Russia

Recording Type & Bit Rate


Recording Software






Release Date September 9, 2015
SKU CM0042004

Press reviews


I’ve been hanging on to a small batch of SACDs on the Caro Mitis label for something like two years, intending but never getting around to writing reviews for this blog. Let me begin to rectify that, starting with two very attractive Telemann discs.

TELEMANN IN MINOR * Pratum Integrum Orchestra * CARO MITIS 0042004 (hybrid multichannel SACD: 57:20)

TELEMANN IN MAJOR * Pratum Integrum Orchestra * CARO MITIS 0032005 (hybrid multichannel SACD: 67:52)

If you’re still trying to build a collection of Super Audio Compact Discs—extremely high-resolution surround-sound recordings, a format that has taken hold more strongly in Europe than in America, but one that nevertheless seems to have crowded DVD-Audio out of the classical audiophile market—you’d be well advised to track down releases from Caro Mitis, a company that focuses on Russian performers, tending to use production teams associated with PentaTone, an outstanding Dutch audiophile label. These are hybrid discs, with a layer that’s readable on conventional two-channel CD players, but for the full effect you need an SACD player, preferably one hooked up to surround speakers.

Pratum Integrum (Latin for “unmown meadow”) is Russia’s only full period-instrument orchestra, founded in 2003. The conductorless ensemble has recorded two discs for Caro Mitis devoted to Georg Philip Telemann, a Baroque composer who, like Vivaldi, was too prolific for the good of his posthumous reputation. Surely a man who wrote hundreds upon hundreds of suites and sonatas couldn’t sustain his inspiration across his catalog? Well, in reality, Telemann at his worst remained a fine craftsman who may occasionally have relied too much on the musical formulas of his time, yet was apparently incapable of producing a true dud. Each work on these two discs is, indeed, quite winning.

Let’s begin with the Telemann in Minor collection; minor-mode music from the Baroque era is likely to strike nonspecialists as more expressive, less formulaic than major-mode works, so this disc presents Telemann to best advantage. It leads off with what’s billed as the world premiere recording of a Suite in A minor for two oboes, bassoon and strings, a sequence of dances and character pieces, the most notable of which is “Furies,” full of nervous energy. Large-scale works alternate with chamber pieces, two often plaintive sonatas for strings and continuo. The remaining big-ensemble compositions are a concerto for flute, violin and strings (including a lovely, serene exchange for the soloists over pizzicato accompaniment) and a concerto for two flutes, violin and strings. This is all music of great refinement and some pathos, and connoisseurs of Baroque music will also enjoy watching Telemann switch back and forth between French and Italian influences.

Telemann in Major offers four world premieres out of its six works. The emphasis here is on orchestral suites, solo concertos and concerti grossi, with a chamber sonata tacked on at the end. Highlights include the third movement of an Orchestral Suite in B-flat, dubbed “Les Cornes de Visbad”; with its strong rhythms and unexpected turns, it has a touch of Rameau. In contrast, the concerto grosso that follows is in the slightly older, more measured style of Corelli. The disc’s other delights include a flute concerto that’s both elegant and lively, and a violin concerto that calls Vivaldi to mind.

Oddly, the Major disc is topped off with a minor-key string sonata, and the Minor disc includes a major-key violin concerto. It would have been more logical to switch them around.

The Pratum Integrum performances aren’t in the now fashionable hot-blooded Franco-Italian style, but then, this is German music, not French or Italian. That said, the playing has plenty of spirit in proportion to the music’s expressive needs, with a graceful approach to the dance rhythms. The recorded sound, as usual from this label, is superb. These two Telemann discs would be a fine foundation for an audiophile Baroque collection, even a small one.

“Fanfare”, January/February 2009: Telemann in Minor

What’s this? Another A-Minor Suite by Telemann? Ah, but this one is different-aside from being one of the over 100 that he composed, this one is actually being given its first recording. The suite, or “overture” as it was called at the time, was one of the most popular forms in its day, and we even find Johann Scheibe complaining at the time, “[O]ne can hardly begin the concert with any other composition.” Many of Telemann’s suites took names, such as “Nations Ancient and Modem” or “The Stylish Lady.” Here we are absent the literary or stage associations and instead get a straightforward, though hardly average, work in the French style. We have dance movements speaking of “Pleasures” and “Furies,” ballroom dances like the rigaudon, an English jig, and a Slavic hornpipe, all played here with vivacity, wit, and a touch of seriousness.
Most of the composer’s sonatas were in fact more easily played pieces designed for home use, are more complex and integral than many of the other chamber works. They are four-movement cycles indicative of the older style, yet still unmistakably of the composer’s time, with many fugal imitations and canons continuing with no little degree of intricacy. But this was not a man enamored with Italianate virtuosic tendencies-he felt the French style, with its emphasis on melody and flattering harmony to be far superior to thc “superficial virtuosity” of the Italian school. No Vivaldi for him.
It may be that the composer’s familiarity with all instruments and mastery of none led him to write music for players with a careful consideration of their natural technical limitations and abilities. It would certainly account for the fact that these works remain among his most popular. The flute and violin concerto given here [TWV 52:e3] is one of the most popular he ever wrote, and its quiet, unassuming manner, with a smoothness of line and wonderful cantabile have enchanted players and listeners for years. The more serious concerto for two flutes [TWV 53:e1] is not as well known, but only a smattering of opportunities to hear it allow for it to work its magic on the ears. This was, I believe, my first acquaintance with it, and it certainly captured me.
These are period performances, so be forewarned that the sometimes astringent strings can have an unwieldy effect on those not prepared. Even though I don’t prefer them, I have come to be used to them, and period-playing today is so far removed from the horrors of yesteryear that one can hardly make comparisons. These folks do very well, and are obviously attuned to the Telemannian spirit, with lively and energetic fast movements contrasted nicely with not-too-overdone slow ones, especially when one hears the lovely contrast of the mellow flute-playing. This is overall an excellent recording of Telemann, sure to please collectors and fans; it will also serve nicely as an introductory album to novices, especially those enlightened enough to posses an SACD player, of which the sound here is exemplary. However, I would be remiss indeed if I did not mention two discs for the novice collector especially: “Concertos for Woodwind Instruments” by Camerata Köln on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (period instruments), and the finest introductory Telemann disc I know of the Recorder Suite in A-Minor, the Viola Concerto, and selections from Tafelmusik, all on a super-cheap Naxos disc by Capella Istropolitana (8.550156).

AllMusic Review: Telemann in Minor

This is a novel idea; the Russian period orchestra Pratum Integrum has made, for the Caro Mitis label, a disc entitled Telemann in Minor containing only minor-key works of Georg Philipp Telemann. While it is novel, it’s not necessarily a difficult program to assemble, just among his purely orchestral compositions Telemann has no less than seven works in the key of D minor alone. Here, Pratum Integrum offers a selection of two concerti in C and E minor, a pair of sonatas in C and B flat minor, and a never before recorded orchestral suite in A minor. The sonatas come from a grey area within Telemann’s literature in which he composed expanded chamber pieces that could be adapted into orchestral pieces with no more than a subtle shift in instrumentation, and he intended them that way. These are very crisp and alert performances and not pieces intended for amateurs — as so many of Telemann’s things are — but serious, full-fledged efforts that exemplify his mastery and questing spirit.

It is a real pity that so many of Telemann’s pieces are both undated and un-datable. One would love, for example, to know if the “Furies” movement in the A minor suite was influenced by Gluck’s “Dance of the Furies” in Orfeo ed Euridice — after all, Telemann was still living in 1762 and very tuned into currents in French music — or if it was he who influenced Gluck. Turbulent and stormy movements are not foreign to Telemann’s works, but the resemblance here is so close. Excitement about the debut work is such that it is hard to miss the balance of what’s on the disc, and this is far from being the first, or the best, recording of Telemann’s Concerto à Sei for flute, violin and strings, TWV 52:e3. The Sextet for two violins, two viols, cello & continuo, TWV 44:32, is played well, but the remaining performances, while pleasant, are not particularly memorable.

Nevertheless, Pratum Integrum was only founded in 2003 and their work represents progress for Russian period instrument ensembles. Russian groups that want to play Baroque music on original instruments usually have a tough row to hoe, finding it difficult to shake off the fat, romantic string tone taught as a matter of course at the Moscow Conservatory and elsewhere. Moreover, they are often plagued with intonation problems, indeed, even if they can access quality period instruments at all. Such aspect is not wholly absent from this recording, and there is some struggle getting the intonation right between the two oboes in the last movement of the A minor suite. Pratum Integrum, however, has studied with the Kuijkens, Bergen Barokk, and Il Gardellino and is really making the effort to come up to speed with the standard set in greater Europe; Telemann in Minor is decidedly a step in the right direction.

“Musica” ?193, February 2008: Telemann in Major / Telemann in minor

Rappresentarlo sdoppiato in opposizione dialettica di modi e` una trovata che l’Autore – riteniamo – avrebbe apprezzato. Anche se il Telemann serioso e solenne e il Telemann giocoso e ironico che ci sono noti sono ben lungi dal contrapporsi come vorrebbe lo schema tradizionale della dicotomia maggiore/minore. E gli schemi precostituiti qui non si applicano piu` che vagamente e le uniche regole valide sembrano essere l’inventiva, la concisione e la velocita` della scrittura. L’inesauribile estro creativo dell’Autore promana, anche da questi due dischi gemelli. Il cui pregio non ultimo e` che per sette degli undici brani contenuti – entrambe le suite per orchestra e tutti i Concerti e le sonate in maggiore – si tratta di prime registrazioni.
Gia` una prospezione superficiale dei due CD fa notare un certo parallelismo nelle rispettive compilation. Tutti e due iniziano con un’ouverture- suite – e sarebbe difficile fare altrimenti. L’orchestrazione e` la stessa per entrambe: due oboi, fagotto, archi e basso continuo Anche nelle parti impegnate nelle altre composizioni registrate si rivela un certo intenzionale parallelismo fra i due CD. La Suite TWV55:B4, che probabilmente risale agli anni di Francoforte, da` una misura dell’ecletticita` stilistica di Telemann: l’ouverture alla francese e` seguita da un’aria all’italiana e da un movimento tedesco fin dal titolo: « i corni di Visbade » (Wiesbaden). Seguono altri movimenti di danza e infine un furioso che si definisce da se?.
Telemann espresse apertamente la sua scarsa propensione per il genere del Concerto, ma non si puo` dire che i fatti gli diano riscontro. Di Concerti Telemann ne scrisse una moltitudine e per le piu` svariate formazioni. Si tratta di composizioni di squisita fattura ricche di originalita` e di invenzione armonica. Fra i Concerti qui registrati si segnalano i due Concerti grossi in Sol maggiore TWV52:G1 e TWV53:G1. Sono molto diversi fra loro; il primo sembra appartenere ai primi anni del compositore e rimanda a modi corelliani, pur concedendosi la liberta` di concludere con un veloce movimento di danza non proprio nei modi all’italiana. Il secondo, scritto per un trio di fiati (due flauti e un fagotto) su orchestra d’archi testimonia dello stile maturo dell’Autore ed e` di una bellezza e ricercatezza sonora stupefacente. Il primo movimento, in particolare, cattura l’ascoltatore con un singolarissimo dialogo fra il trio di fiati che tesse con continuita` la sua melodia e le saltuarie, improvvise intromissioni degli archi a commento.
Telemann adotto` quasi sempre per i suoi Concerti lo schema lento-veloce- lento-veloce derivato dalla sonata da chiesa. Fra i suoi pochi Concerti in tre tempi v’e` il TWV51:G4, che risuona infatti di echi vivaldiani. Ma anche qui con aggiunte inconfondibilmente personali. Un analogo commento vale per il TWV51:E1, malgrado qui si torni alla quasi-regola dei quattro movimenti. Di nuovo smentita dal TWV52:e3 in minore che consta a compenso di cinque movimenti. Piacevoli in particolare il primo che contrappone il flauto a una mossa polifonia d’archi e il celestiale adagio per flauto e violino su arpeggio d’archi.
I due CD contengono anche tre belle sonate per due violini, due viole, violoncello e basso continuo. Si tratta quindi di sestetti, sempre con la scansione lento-veloce-lento-veloce, la cui scrittura cameristica manifesta punti di contatto con quella dei Concerti, pur conformandosi come meno brillante e piu` meditativa, specie nelle composizioni in minore.
Se la maestria del compositore non puo` costituire sorpresa, lo e` invece quella degli esecutori. La Prato Integrum Orchestra e` una giovane formazione russa, l’unica – a quanto pare – nel suo paese che suoni con strumenti originali un repertorio settecentesco. A giudicare da questi due CD, ne fanno parte strumentisti di valore indiscutibile. Non mancano i movimenti, specie quelli veloci, che consentono di apprezzarne l’abilita` tecnica e la precisione del suono. Ma non solo di questo si tratta: l’interpretazione e` elegante, misurata, empatica. Questi musicisti hanno saputo calarsi al meglio nella grande tradizione tardo-barocca tedesca sostanzialmente estranea all’anima russa con grande capacita` di immedesimazione. Per l’opinione che possiamo essercene fatta, il loro Telemann e` fedele all’originale come meglio non potrebbe. Uno splendido Telemann suona ad Est. La qualita` tecnica della registrazione e` eccellente e contribuisce a valorizzare la bravura degli esecutori e la loro cura del minuto dettaglio. Una lode a parte merita la veste editoriale: estremamente curata e raffinata la presentazione grafica dei CD e dei booklet.
L’eccellenza degli interpreti, la felice scelta antologica e la riscoperta di tanti pezzi inediti concorrono nel far giudicare i due SACD un apporto notevolissimo alla discografia in rapida espansione del compositore di Magdeburgo.

Online Musik Magazin: Telemann in Russland

Die historische Aufführungspraxis gewinnt in Osteuropa zunehmend an Bedeutung. Junge Ensembles widmen sich mit viel Engagement und auf einem beeindruckend hohen Niveau der authentischen Interpretation der so genannten Alten Musik vergangener Epochen. Vom bemerkenswerten Leistungsstand dieser Ensembles konnte man sich auf verschiedenen Festivals und bei anderen Gelegenheiten bereits überzeugen.

Zu Pfingsten kommt mit Pratum Integrum ein Barockorchester aus Moskau zu den Tagen Alter Musik nach Regensburg, um dort seine Deutschlandpremiere zu geben. Grund genug, wie es scheint, die aktuelle CD des russischen Ensembles vorzustellen.

“Telemann in minor” lautet der Titel der 2004 entstandenen Aufnahme; (überwiegend) in Moll komponierte Werke Georg Philipp Telemanns zeigen den Meister von seiner ernsten, fast strengen Seite. Nichtsdestotrotz vereinigt die CD eine abwechslungsreiche und sehr unterhaltsame Werkauswahl, angefangen von der Orchester-Suite a-moll für zwei Oboen, Fagott, Streicher und Basso continuo TWV 55:a3, die hier erstmals eingespielt wurde. Des Weiteren finden sich auf der Silberscheibe zwei Streicher-Sonaten (“Sextours”) in f-moll und B-Dur sowie zwei Konzerte in e-moll für Flöte, Violine bzw. zwei Flöten, Violine, Streicher und Basso continuo.

Die jungen Musikerinnen und Musiker von Pratum Integrum pflegen einen satten, kernigen Sound, wie er dem hier eingespielten Repertoire angemessen ist. Dabei erliegen sie nie der Versuchung extravaganter Überzeichnungen. Das Klangspektrum des Ensembles ist farbenreich, die Tempi sind schwungvoll und frisch, finden in den langsamen Sätzen aber auch den notwendigen ruhigen Atem. Als Beispiel sei nur auf das erste Adagio des fünfsätzigen Konzerts für Flöte, Violine, Streicher und Basso continuo verwiesen mit den wunderschönen Kantilenen der Solisten über dem Pizzicato der Streicher.

Nicht unerwähnt bleiben soll das geschmackvoll schlichte Booklet mit – trotz gelegentlich recht bizarrer Formen der deutschen Übersetzung – informativem Text.

Fazit: “Telemann in minor” ist eine sehr gelungene Aufnahme, die den Zuhörer vom ersten bis zum letzten Ton in ihren Bann zu ziehen vermag. Für Telemann-Fans ein Muss, zumal man hier mit einer weniger beachteten Facette des Meister konfrontiert wird. Und alle, denen Telemanns Musik bislang zu seicht erschien, werden bei dieser CD gewiss aufhorchen. Man darf gespannt sein auf die Begegnung mit Pratum Integrum, wenn nicht live in Regensburg, dann vielleicht im CD-Geschäft!

Opus Haute Définition: Telemann in minor

Toujours enregistrés en pur DSD, les Super Audio CD du label russe Caro Mitis sont un modèle éditorial qu’il est bon de saluer une nouvelle fois. Pour cet enregistrement le jeune orchestre Pratum Integrum nous entraîne sur les traces de Telemann en nous faisant découvrir en première mondiale, la suite d’orchestre pour deux hautbois, basson, cordes et basse continue. A ses côtes, nous pouvons également entendre deux sonates pour deux violons, deux altos et violoncelle, ainsi qu’un concerto pour flûte, violon et cordes et un autre pour deux flûtes, violon et cordes. Avec une belle aisance parfois bridée par une certaine monotonie, l’orchestre déploie une maîtrise absolue de ces œuvres qui, certes, ne sont pas des chefs-d’œuvre mais donnent à percevoir un pan de la personnalité de Telemann que l’on explore peu. Des plans sonores bien en place, des timbres instrumentaux aux coloris soyeux, des phrasés judicieusement maîtrisés donnent à l’ensemble de cet enregistrement le sentiment d’une musique humaine plus que décorative avec ce qu’il faut de verve pour transporter l’émotion au-delà de l’imaginaire. Revisiter un tel répertoire peut paraître vain, mais le « courage » dont fait preuve ce bel ensemble Pratum integrum n’est pas le moindre de ses atouts. Côté son, les deux parties Stéréo et multicanal en haute définition respectent parfaitement le timbre de chaque instrument.

“Toccata-Alte Musik aktuell”, May 2005: Die Russen sind da!

Pratum Integrum meint eine ungemahte Wiese, naturbelassen sozusagen, im Wachstum und der Entwicklung frei. Das ist ein schones Bild fur ein junges Orchester und ein schones Motto obendrein. Im Jahr 2003 also fanden sich einige junge Kunstler der russischen Alte-Musik-Bewegung zusammen, grundeten dieses Orchester und spielen seitdem exklusiv fur das Label Caro Mitis – Essential Music in Moskau Werke des 18. Jahrhunderts ein. (In der Rubrik “Aktuell & brandneu” stelle ich weitere gegluckte CDs dieser Gruppe in dieser TOCCATA-Ausgabe vor.) Und man trifft wieder auf Namen, die man sich in den letzten Jahren schon gemerkt hat, weil sich dahinter interessante Aufnahmen und Gruppen verbergen, wie Sergei Filchenko von der Musica Petropolitana, der bei Pratum Integrum als Konzertmeister fungiert.

Musica Petropolitana (1995) trat ja in Regensburg bei den TAGEN ALTER MUSIK auf, ebenso wie die Musica Antiqua Russica (2002). Und immer mehr zeichnete es sich ab, ubrigens auch in Gesprachen mit Kunstlern und Dozenten, dass die kommende “neue, innovative und wilde Szene” sich im Osten herausbilden wurde. Jetzt ist es also soweit: Die Russen sind da! Und das gleich mit einem Paukenschlag.

Es geschah nicht oft in meiner bisherigen Arbeit als Kritiker, dass es mich buchstablich umgeworfen hat. “Umwerfend” ist genau der richtige Ausdruck dafur, was hier passiert. Diese Interpretation birgt Suchtgefahr in sich, man kann nicht mehr davon lassen, mochte sich bestimmte Passagen immer und immer wieder anhoren. Es ist die Naturlichkeit, gepaart mit uberbordender Spielfreude, die so fesselt – Spielfreude pur! Der Ansatz der tschechischen und polnischen Orchester wird faktisch intensiviert und destilliert und das vor dem Hintergrund der inzwischen gefurchteten technischen Brillanz der russischen Musiker. Sie machen einfach alles richtig und das mit provokativer und entwaffnender Leichtigkeit und Lockerheit. Sie spielen mit Hirn und Herz, nie entsteht Langeweile, jedes Detail mutiert zu purer Musik. Und good old Telemann, dieser etwas steife Deutsche, wird zum Italiener, zum großartigen, zum prachtigen Barockkomponisten, auf gleicher Ebene wie Handel oder Vivaldi. Was fur eine wundervolle Entdeckung! Dieser große Komponist ebenso wie dieses große Orchester.

Audiophile Audition Review: “Telemann in Minor”

Pratum Integrum is the only original-instrument orchestra in Russia and one of the few ensembles specializing in early music. The members are nearly all very young but also very skilled. The entire package is beautifully designed and carried out, with an informative note booklet decorated with lovely medieval-looking artwork along the sides. The actual disc is imprinted with what looks like a Classical period dish design – one of the most striking optical disc printing jobs I have seen. The 5-channel recordings for this Russian label are made by Netherlands-based Polyhymnia International and are of great clarity and focus, with the surrounds giving a fine impression of the concert space – which was a studio of the Russian TV and Radio Company in Moscow large enough to hold both a symphony orchestra and an audience. Such studios are no longer overly-deadened with excessive absorbtive materials as was once the fashion in the Soviet period. (Then Melodiya would add metallic-sounding artificial reverb in mastering.)

Telemann was the leading composer of his time, getting much more attention than J.S. Bach. Yet much of his music has yet to be recorded and appreciated. The title of this disc may be a bit corny (reminding me of program themes of the late radio host Karl Haas) but it is a challenge to present several similar works by composers as prolific as Telemann; Vivaldi concertos present a similar problem. The newly-presented Orchestral Suite sports ten short movements (one only 58 seconds) in mostly dance forms. It is fresh sounding and more than that rather French-sounding – almost reminding one of Rameau’s suites. The other four works use standard tempo markings for the movements, which are four except for one concerto with five movements. The soloists on flute and oboe are exceptional. Tempi are occasionally break-neck, but without the slightest missed notes. (Made me think of the recent news item alleging that some classical soloists were taking performance-enhancing drugs to play faster; somehow seems unlikely in Russia.) Both Italian and French musical influences are heard, and most such Telemann works end with very happy-sounding and tuneful finales.


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