Sunday, 20 April 2008

96. Georg Philipp Telemann - Paris Quartets (1730)


Title: Paris Quartets 1-12
Performers: Barthold, Sigiswald and Wieland Kuijken and Gustav Leonhardt
Year: 1997
Length: 3 hours 14 minutes (3 CDs)


Telemann is one of those people for whom the expression 'Even a stopped clock is right twice a day' was invented. This man produced so much music, at such a fast rate that it was invariably not amazing.

However, that same fact led to the production of some winners, and this is one of those. These quartets are delightful pieces, and the instrument that really stands out is the flute, with a particularly virtuosistic role in the whole thing. The Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord work mainly as continuo but have their own moments to shine.

What is most interesting about Telemann here in terms of style is the fact that this is not a recognisably German composer in these pieces, there are elements of Italian, even Polish music as well as the obvious French, they are called Paris Quartets after all and most of the track titles are in French. Sprightly music in a great recording by a very good ensemble.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

A little known fact about Telemann is his proclivity for pillowbiting. This is supported by the following excerpt from a memoir of Count Erdmoir II in whom the composer had found a steady patron. “He went through pillows like they were sunflower seeds. Just chew ‘em up and spit ‘em right out. Sometimes ten at a time. In fact, that’s how the German textile industry really came into its own. Making pillows for Telemann.”

I shit you not. It seems someone might have vandalised Telemann's entry.

Chaconne from the 12th, they added a lute making it a quintet, oh well:

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