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Penguin Guide, January 2009

It is a pity that Naxos do not provide TWV identification as do Emi and DG Archiv, but the Suite in A minor is an irresistible masterpiece if ever there was one, and is easily indentified. It is played here as winningly and stylish as anywhere else on disc. The two named soloists share the Double Concerto (which has a delightful Largo that starts off like Handel’s ‘Where’er you walk’), but it is not clear who plays elsewhere. However it is of no moment; all the solo playing here is expert and personable, and there is some delicious virtuoso piping in the second moments of the E major Concerto.  Indeed all four works show Telemann on top from, Helmut Müller-Brühl’s accompaniments are polished and equally stylish, and the recording is first class.

Jonnathan Woolf
MusicWeb International

Telemann seems to have had something of an affinity for the recorder. His settings are extensive and irreproachably effective. Virtuosity and lyricism co-exist with rich and varied stylistic procedures and a pan-European musical sensibility. He clearly had at his disposal players of the utmost virtuosity because these are works that make the highest demands on the performers' techniques and on this disc, in the person of Daniel Rothert - who also wrote the notes - Telemann is well served. The A minor Suite opens with an Overture in the French style followed by explicitly Italian development and Les Plaisirs, the second movement, is delightfully robust. Rothert only plays in the central section here, surrounded as he is by pointed and rhythmically alive string panels. The orchestra by the way is Hermann Abendroth's 1923 creation and Muller-Bruhl has now conducted it for nearly forty years - for a decade they played on period instruments as the Capella Clementina but since 1987 they have played exclusively on modern instruments and their discretion and sensitivity are noticeable. The third movement is an Italian aria, of the type familiar from Handel's Italian operas, and deliciously vocal. As the Suite progresses one can admire the soloist's secure intonation, the prominent harpsichordist and the accurate line of the strings. The final movement, a Polish dance - Telemann got around a bit geographically - ends with a splendidly realised and performed quiescent flourish.

Rothert is athletic, articulate and accurate . . . Telemann's fecund muse will doubtless always be underestimated - but for those in the know there are always pleasures galore to be had from absorbing and enjoying his seemingly limitless capacity to synthesise styles in his own inimitable and infectious form.

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