Notes and Editorial Reviews
I don't think I've ever heard a more beautiful disc of Baroque chamber music than this one. Telemann's Paris Quartets are delightful and well served on disc, particularly by the Leonhardt/Kuijken performance on Sony. But this release sweeps the board both interpretively and sonically. The watchwords of the interpretation can be found in the titles of the movements themselves, particularly "Tendrement" from the First Quartet, "Gracieusement" from the Third, and with perhaps a touch of "Coulant" from the Second Quartet tossed in. Tender, gracious, and flowing: these are exactly the qualities that the music requires, and exactly what the members of Florilegium provide.
Ashley Solomon plays an enchanting Baroque flute, with a touch of recorder-like breathiness but also rich-toned and perfectly in tune. He blends perfectly with Kati Debretzeni's violin, making their entwining solo lines bewitching to hear and an endless source of listening pleasure. The two lower string players (cello and bass viol) know exactly when to bring out the bass lines and when to merge seamlessly into the scintillating harpsichord playing of James Johnstone, whose instrument offers support without ever overpowering his colleagues with harsh clanging and mechanical noises.
The sonics perfectly complement the interpretation. A warm acoustic space, with microphones placed an ideal distance from the players, allows the musicians--not the engineer--to create the necessary atmosphere and blend, with no compromise in clarity or presence. In SACD multichannel format, the acoustic space has additional tactility and the ensemble achieves an almost physical presence in your listening room. Even if you don't ordinarily care for Telemann or Baroque chamber music, you may well find yourself won over by the manifold excellence of this production on both musical and technical grounds. It doesn't get any better. [8/31/2004]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
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