Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Georg Philipp Telemann - Tafelmusik (Freiburg Baroque Orchestra)


Composer: Georg Philipp Telemann

  • (01-07) Tafelmusik I, Overture in E minor
  • (08-11) Tafelmusik I, Quartett in G major
  • (12-15) Tafelmusik I, Concerto for flute, violin and cello in A major
  • (01-04) Tafelmusik I, Trio in E flat major
  • (05-08) Tafelmusik I, Flute Sonata in B minor
  • (09) Tafelmusik I, Sinfonia in E minor "Conclusion"
  • (10-14) Tafelmusik II, Overture in D major
  • (15-18) Tafelmusik II, Quartet in D minor
  • (01-03) Tafelmusik II, Concerto for 3 violins in F major
  • (04-07) Tafelmusik II, Trio in E minor
  • (08-11) Tafelmusik II, Violin Sonata in A major
  • (12) Tafelmusik II, Conclusion in D major
  • (01-07) Tafelmusik III, Overture in B flat major
  • (08-11) Tafelmusik III, Quartet in E minor
  • (12-15) Tafelmusik III, Concerto for 2 horns & strings in E flat major
  • (16-19) Tafelmusik III, Trio in D major
  • (20-23) Tafelmusik III, Oboe Sonata in G minor
  • (24) Tafelmusik III, Conclusion in B flat major

Freiburger Barockorchester
Petra Müllejans, conductor
Gottfried von der Goltz, conductor

Date: 2010
Label: Harmonia Mundi!/albums/1573




Telemann’s Table Music is a wonderful, compendious work in three “productions”, each of which consists of an overture, a quartet, a concerto, a trio, a sonata, and an orchestral conclusion. The music is amazingly varied and consistently delightful–and so is this set’s packaging, with each disc coming in a slipcase decorated with increasing pieces of tableware until you have a complete place-setting. To be honest, I rather dreaded listening to this set because the Freiburgers take great pride in offering the most hideous version of “authentic” string sound this side of Roger Norrington, but I need not have worried.

True, the works that feature solo strings, such as the A major violin sonata, or the Concerto for Three Violins, could only have been improved with a touch more vibrato and some warmth to the tone, but the players’ impeccable intonation counts for a great deal, and the wind players are pretty terrific. Outstanding items include the Oboe Sonata in G minor, the Triple Concerto for Flute, Violin, and Cello, the Double Horn Concerto, and the Flute Sonata in B minor. That’s a lot of great stuff. And when the entire ensemble plays together, lively tempos and a characterful variety of continuo sounds offer a feast for the ears. It all goes to show that this particular baroque orchestra really does sound best in baroque music, and should stay within its Fach.

Given the wide-ranging performance forces required for the various pieces, the engineering is remarkably consistent: clear but not spotlit, with an attractive room ambience. The continuo never overwhelms the solo lines, but as with so many “authentic” productions there’s a good bit of performance noise. After a few minutes the ear adjusts, but it’s a bit obtrusive. After hearing all four hours of this music several times, though, I can say without hesitation that if you want “original” instruments, this set fully lives up to the highest expectations. Of its kind, there is none better. [10/27/2010]

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

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Georg Philipp Telemann (14 March 1681 – 25 June 1767) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Telemann was one of the most prolific composers in history (more than 3000 pieces) and was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the leading German composers of the time alongside the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. Telemann's music incorporates several national styles (French, Italian) and is even at times influenced by Polish popular music. He remained at the forefront of all new musical tendencies and his music is an important link between the late Baroque and early Classical styles.


Freiburger Barockorchester (Freiburg Baroque Orchestra) is a German orchestra founded in 1987, with the mission statement: "to enliven the world of Baroque music with new sounds". The orchestra is based in Freiburg im Breisgau. In addition to Baroque music, it has performed works by composers such as Beethoven, Schubert and Weber, and contemporary music. The orchestra mostly play without a conductor, but has two Artistic Managers of equal status (Gottfried von der Goltz and Petra Müllejans), who alternately manage individual projects.


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