Von Elfen, Zauberern und einem Schrat – ein zeitloses Wald-Abenteuer. …
This is one of only two complete recordings of Telemann's Paris Quartets available as a single set, and is much superior to the old Bruggen set. The Kuijkens are all very stylish and engaging performers, and they play these works very well.
Telemann wrote a lot of very good chamber music, but these quartets show him at his best. They are full of wonderful melodies, and some amazing rhythmic quirks. If Telemann had not been so prolific, these works would be considered absolute masterpieces on the order of the Brandenburg Concertos of Bach. They are that good.
A noteworthy fact: Marais, in his five books of Pièces de viole, published only two suites for two viols and continuo. Aside from the two suites for three viols (Book IV), all the other pieces are intended for the solo instrument with accompaniment of harpsichord, theorbo or a second viol in different combinations.
Mozart's music for flute always seems to cause a twofold reaction. On the one hand, the music is undeniably beautiful, balanced and just a little more than what could be expected from the "gallant" style. On the other hand, note-writers are at pains to point out that Mozart apparently did not like the flute as an instrument and that in the case of the Flute Quartets, two of the four have not even been proved to be genuine Mozart. I think this Accent CD makes a wonderful plea for this music despite the doubts of booklet author Pieter Andriessen. The music is taken "seriously" by the four performers, producing a stringent, but eminently lovely version, with not only Bart Kuijken in top form at the flute, but also with the three string players providing a sheer amazing amount of intelligent accompaniment in an acoustic which could hardly be more transparent and more pleasant to the ear. The age of the 1982 recording nowhere becomes apparent, the engineering is as superb as the playing - an absolutely crowning achievement within the Kuijkens' career as three of the foremost proponents of the "period performance" school.