Reinhard Goebel and the Musica Antiqua Koln are among the world’s finest purveyors of Baroque repertory, and these original instrument renderings of eight Telemann chamber quartets do not disappoint. While the disc is titled “Flute Quartets,” only four are actually played on flute; three are played on recorder, and one is for two violins and viola. Whether the pieces all originated as flute quartets can’t be determined from the supplied documentation, but the end results are superb, nonetheless. There’s a great deal of information in the supplied booklet that deals with Telemann’s integral role in the development of the quartet as we know it, and a great deal of scholarly debate on whether the works presented here are based on the sonata or concerto form.
My only real quibble with this enjoyable disc, and it’s a frequent one with offerings on the Archiv label, is that the performances have a certain brightness about them. I’ve heard others describe it as edginess – anyway, the treble’s a bit aggressive. Not so much, though, that it keeps this otherwise excellent set from a hearty recommendation.
— Tom Gibbs