G.P.Telemann, Flute Quartets,
Musica Antiqua Köln, R. Goebel
Only two quartet-variants are repeated on this disc (and then only once), making for six different combinations of instruments. Particularly delightful in combination with the oboe, they have a lively spirit, and if the playing could be bettered, I just can't imagine how. In three and four movements, these works were probably the ones that brought the term ‘quartet’ to music in the first place. They offer beautiful melodies for up to three instruments at a time (with the basso continuo scrubbing away on the bottom) and exemplify mastery of contrapuntal writing. One quartet might be Haendel's and another – the only one written solely for strings – while not novel (such ripieno concerti had been written before) might just be imagined to be a distant precursor to the string quartet. But such dissection is quite unnecessary when the music offers such easy delight. Superficially enjoyable: yes; superficial? no.