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Classical - Released July 17, 2015 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released July 17, 2015 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Concertos - Released January 1, 2008 | CPO

The varied forces of Georg Philipp Telemann's instrumental music require a flexible ensemble to give a sense of the music's range. In this case, two German historical-instrument ensembles, La Stagione Frankfurt and the veteran Camerata Köln, join forces for a set of concertos with a delightfully varied set of soloists. This music has the odd combination of lightness and unorthodoxy that tends to either attract or repel those who listen to Telemann. The concertos, in three or four Italianate movements, are among his most progressive works, none more so than the Concerto in D major for two horns, strings, and continuo, TWV 52:D1, where the continuity of Baroque texture breaks up entirely: at one point the horns seem to inhabit their own stately sphere as the strings pause to let them pass. But each of the concertos has moments as unusual, if not quite as dramatic. Perhaps the massing of the two groups led to a somewhat deadpan performance in which the sharper edges of each group were filed off, but this is to the good in Telemann, whose work was meant for the common run of players; you don't want to hear the players competing with the little surprises in the music. Both the technical level of the playing and the sound are fine, and any Baroque listener will have a good time with this disc and its volume-one companion. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | CPO

Booklet
This fifth volume of Telemann’s concertos has a few big surprises in store: very original instrumentations, bold or even avant-garde. We start with the Concerto TWV 50:21 from the 1760s, which manifestly represents an aristocratic hunt, as evidenced by the two solo horns. More surprising and a lot rarer, the fantastical Grillen-symphonie TWV 50:1 from 1758 in which the solo instruments include… a clarinet. Or at least its predecessor, the pipe, but the sound is already the one from the clarinet. Furthermore, Telemann adds two solo double bass sections as well as, in an obvious desire of contrast since he makes them play together, piccolos! This is here the most magnificent Telemann, the one who makes you regret he composed only three thousand five hundred works and not many more. Because, despite this profusion, originality remains the keyword of the maestro. By way of comparison, the Concerto TWV 53:g1 which follows, in 1722, remains still sagely confined to the Baroque language of its time, with a few court affectations that are quite delicious. Follows a « Sonata » for trumpet and strings which, despite its title, is well and truly a concerto. And the album ends on a high note, with the hunt, as it began: the Violin Concerto TWV 51:F4 from the 1750s, and in which the violin is admittedly the virtuoso soloist, but the global writing yet again calls upon horns, as well as two flutes and two oboes for the pastoral aspect—and kettledrums and two trumpets to better throw the listener off, in a twirling Polacca. Those are seven movements of tremendous sound creativity, and in which the wind instruments constantly take on the role of soloists. © SM/Qobuz
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Concertos - Released January 4, 2011 | CPO

Booklet
The CPO label's series of Telemann wind concertos under German conductor Michael Schneider reaches its fifth volume with this release. How many Telemann wind concertos there are in all depends on whom you ask, but it would seem that there are enough for at least one more album. Despite the volume of the task, these releases have been consistently enjoyable, and this one has the added advantage of being devoted entirely to a single ensemble, La Stagione Frankfurt. (Earlier releases alternated between that group and Camerata Köln.) On audition here are six concertos, all for different combinations of solo and grouped winds, including one for the novel configuration of two horns and two oboes (the horns are silent in the slow movement). All of the instrumental writing is flattering and idiomatic, and some of the finales are plenty challenging for the soloists. The greatest interest perhaps lies not even in the instrumental idiom, but in the endlessly inventive ways in which Telemann riffs off the models provided by Vivaldi, who, even nearly 600 miles away, is an obvious influence on these works. Consider the unison opening of the slow movement to the Concerto in D major for flute, strings, and continuo, a typical Vivaldian move, but with an entirely original and almost Romantic continuation in the solo part from Telemann. In general the relationship between the soloist or small concertino group and the full ripieno ensemble is exploited by Telemann with maximum imagination. Excellent sound from the acoustically superior Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal completes a satisfying picture. Try this; you may find yourself hooked into buying the entire set. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 23, 1998 | CPO

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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | CapriccioNR

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | CPO

For those who follow the hierarchy of Mozart's contemporaries, Juan Arriaga is the "Spanish Mozart," Joseph Martin Kraus is the "Swedish Mozart," and so on. This makes some measure of sense; both were classical composers who bore some affinity to the work of Mozart and both were, like him, short-lived. In the liner notes to CPO's Simon Leduc: Complete Symphonic Works, conductor and annotator Michael Schneider of La Stagione Frankfurt lays the groundwork for designating Leduc, who died at age 34 or 35 in 1777, as a "French Mozart." From listening to the music, it is not so certain that such a comparison can be borne out; for one thing, the opening of the Symphony No. 2 in D betrays the unmistakable influence of "slightly more animated than usual" Mannheim School composer Christian Cannabich. In addition, Leduc was 14 years older than Mozart, and the three symphonies here, taken from early prints dating from the end of Leduc's life, hew closely to the three-movement model nurtured by Haydn from the 1760s. Taken on its own terms, however, Leduc's music is wonderful indeed, full of unusual, clashy Stürm und Drang effects; abrupt turns of phrase; and spirited, willful ideas. Where he came by his unusual style remains something of a puzzle, as he does not seem to have had any connection to the music of the Hamburg court as exemplified by Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, although some older French music bears traces of Stürm und Drang, mainly that of Lully and Rameau. La Stagione Frankfurt's performances of Leduc are crisp and light on their feet, slow movements are handled with sensitivity, and the period natural horns sound especially good. Leduc's symphonies have been recorded once before for the French label Arion by the Versailles Chamber Orchestra; that was a long while back. While those recordings weren't bad, this one is a considerable improvement and also includes Leduc's highly interesting Orchestral Trios, as well. These were technically symphonies written without a viola part to facilitate performance as chamber music, and indeed, Grove's erroneously identifies them as chamber works only. Leduc's stormiest music is found in the G minor Orchestral Trio recorded here for the first time, and La Stagione Frankfurt's Simon Leduc: Complete Symphonic Works definitely leaves one hungry for more; only problem is that in Leduc's case, there is no "more." © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | CPO

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Classical - Released October 1, 2006 | CPO

CPO's Franz Ignaz Beck: Symphonies Op. 4 Nos. 1-3 is the third installation in period-instrument group La Stagione Frankfurt's outstanding series of recordings of the symphonies of Beck. Beck's symphonies are strikingly advanced for their time; he was already utilizing four-movement structures by 1760, and his symphonies are rich with the violent contrasts and explosive effects associated with the Stürm und Drang phase found in Haydn's middle symphonies and those of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Although all three of these symphonies are in major keys, they are no less aggressive and intense than the minor key symphonies that have attracted so much attention to Beck's work since late in the twentieth century. As to the virtues of this particular disc, the performance, led by Michael Schneider, is lively and enthusiastically played. The symphonies, which seem not to have been recorded before, are terrific, engaging pieces that well merit revival. One slight drawback is the recording, presented here in an SACD format -- it is a little distant to start with, and the heavy application of gating or compression cuts back on the ambience of the recording a little too much. When the music dies off, it dies off into nothing, not even silence so much as the absence of sound. While those who can't stand the sound of tape hiss or room ambience might be pleased, it sounds at times as though the performance is struggling to be heard through the compression. The filler, an overture to one of Beck's few extant operas L'isle déserte, is an exultant and appropriately mysterious opener to Metastasio's drama, also set by Haydn as L'isola disabitata. Grove's, however, is at odds with the 1799 date provided in the booklet, and lists 1779 for this work. © TiVo
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Opera Extracts - Released March 18, 2011 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released August 1, 2004 | CPO

This 2004 CD from CPO completes la Stagione Frankfurt's recordings of Franz Ignaz Beck's Symphonies, Op. 3, begun in 2000 with the Symphonies Nos. 3-5, released on CPO 999 390-2. Led by Michael Schneider and featuring members of Camerata Köln as section leaders and soloists, this fine ensemble performs on period instruments and renders Beck's works in a vivid and believable eighteenth century style, fully attuned to the various influences that shaped his music. These symphonies clearly developed from ideas promulgated by the Mannheim School, but Beck also absorbed Italian and French mannerisms, so the international flavor of these pieces is noteworthy. As much as they bear remarkable similarities to Haydn's symphonies of the same time period, particularly in their instrumentation and structure, they are also infused with dramatic effects borrowed from Parisian opera and are sometimes reminiscent in their wild energy and coloration of works by Gluck. This is most apparent in Beck's vigorous string writing, expressive wind passages, and bold departures into stormy music in minor keys. La Stagione Frankfurt produces subtly shaded timbres and is quite robust in tutti sections, with a huge sound for its small size. CPO's recording is superb, but a little on the hot side, so watch the volume. © TiVo
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Opera - Released May 4, 1998 | CPO

Classical - Released December 5, 2014 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 5, 2014 | deutsche harmonia mundi