The period instrument ensemble Florilegium has been around for nearly 18 years now, but you don’t hear about them as much as some of the other ensembles. But I have enjoyed almost every disc I have heard from them, and this well-recorded baroque recital holds to those high standards (but I was surprised to hear a cough in the middle of the first movement of the Telemann!).
The Telemann, an outstanding work from Part One of his Table Music, is played with such an obvious relish for the music that you cannot help but be drawn in, and the soloists are a delight from first to last. Lucy Crowe joins the ensemble for the Bach–though He knows not what sorrow is may not even be by the Master—and the ensemble easily adapts to the change of mood without sacrificing any of their earlier enthusiasm. The text is only partially known, and why it was written remains a mystery. It tells the story of a young future military man, an Italian artist coming home to Italy from Germany to begin his new career, and of his having to leave his beloved friends. The flute and strings give it a cheerful feeling, as the boy looks forward to getting home and serving his country. Lucy Crowe sings the work probably better than the text deserves!
The last work here is definitely by Bach, his Triple Concerto, taken from a Prelude and Fugue for harpsichord in A-minor. The harpsichord dominates this piece, though it also features a full-bodied string sound, not tinny and whiny like so many others. This one blows away my other versions, most notably Trevor Pinnock’s. A beautiful album then, with surround sound that engulfs us nicely.
— Steven Ritter