“Encores: BACH, HANDEL, TELEMANN, MOZART” – Polish Ch. Orch. /Jerzy Maksymiuk – MD&G

“Encores: BACH, HANDEL, TELEMANN, MOZART” – Polish Chamber Orchestra /Jerzy Maksymiuk – MD&G 3210181-2, 50:01  [Dist. by E1] (9/30/16) ***:

Some of this CD makes a good demo.

B01IG479L4 Just making it onto the US market, this MD&G from 1984 features the great Polish Chamber Orchestra under its legendary conductor Jerzy Maksymiuk in early digital sound that was already being tamed by the Detmold Tonmeisters.

It’s not true of all the tracks, but there are moments when you understand MD&G’s reputation for making music and sound indivisible: at the beginning of the slow movement of CPE Bach’s Cello Concerto in A Major Wq 172, in what sounds like an well-upholstered, pre-Urtext edition, when the strings have almost a two-minute introduction, you can hear such sculpted detail, especially in the middle and lower strings, that when Ewa Wasiotka enters with that famous melody, so beautiful (and an octave higher than usually played) the contrast is breathtaking.

On the other hand, they use a phantasmagoric edition for Handel’s Queen of Sheba Sinfonia that is so deliriously filled with re-orchestrations, added trills and ornaments, and recorded in hi-res surround with such spectacular brilliance, that it should become an iconic demo track.

The rest of the CD is not compelling: movements from Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik and his three Salzburg Divertimentos; two movements from Bach’s Orchestra Suite in B minor, three from Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op.  6 No. 10 and a sweet Telemann Overture à la Pastourelle are all played with spiky energy but not much more.

—Laurence Vittes

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