Telemann’s easy facility as a composer has led to accusations of a lack of originality which this album does much to challenge. With excellent balance and an incisive edge to their sound, Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Soloists offer a well-balanced program which focuses on Telemann’s exploitation of tonal color through instrumentally versatile combinations. Imaginative scoring contrasts wind and strings, and treble and bass instruments to reveal an astonishing timbre and textural range. Bright, playful passagework in the first of two G major quartets on the disc and the C major Recorder Sonata establishes this Amsterdam group’s excellent ensemble and crisp articulation and, with more sombre instrumentation in the B flat minor Trio Sonata and F minor Bassoon Sonata, they vividly demonstrate their broad range of tonal variety and mood.
The confirmation of Telemann’s remarkable musical and stylistic diversity which this album provides should make it popular with collectors.--Nicholas Rast