Alexis Kossenko returns to centre stage with a project focussing on works by Georg Philipp Telemann, one of the most prolific composers in the history of music, with more than 6,000 works to his name! From them, Alexis Kossenko has chosen two concertos with orchestra: one for flute, the other for flute and violin, preceded by an overture. This programme is perfectly composed to demonstrate what a great Baroque conductor he has become as well as, of course, showcasing his impressive qualities as a flautist. It is also the occasion to again find Zefira Valova as Konzertmeister and soloist in one of the concertos.
In each of these trios, Telemann prescribes a different instrumentation. He forms six entirely individual instrumentations consisting of four wind instruments, four stringed instruments, and continuo.
Someone ought to get some t-shirts made that say "Vivaldi rocks!" At least that partly accounts for his popularity in the twenty first century; among the old masters, Antonio Vivaldi's sense of rhythmic dynamics and the gale-like force of many of his string concertos are close enough to the ever-enervating pulse of pop music that he has found an unlikely audience among younger listeners. Andrea Marcon and the Venice Baroque Orchestra's disc Vivaldi: Concerti & Sinfonie per Archi delivers these very kinds of goods, and will prove pleasing to Vivaldi fanciers of the younger set.
In terms of their reputations, it is the misfortune of both Albinoni and Telemann that they shared their time and space with Vivaldi and Bach - respectively, the nonpareils of Venetian Baroque and Baroque everywhere else. Nonetheless, these oboe concerti of Albinoni testify to the considerable talents of the Red Priest's contemporaries. Three of the four concerti that begin CD1 (those in d, C and g) are probably the equals of anything that Vivaldi wrote for this instrument. They show the 51 year old composer (former dilettante now turned professional) at the height of his powers. Telemann's works on these discs, meanwhile - and especially the wonderful Sonata in g from 'Tafelmusik III' - show him at his most inspired…By Jon Chambers (Birmingham, England)