If you're one of those who feel Telemann has gotten a bad rap, your day has come. Here's a disc that will make even diehard skeptics take another listen to this Baroque master. Reinhard Goebel and the Musica Antiqua Köln perform a program of Telemann's chamber music for strings, including a pair of symphonies (which didn't mean nearly the same thing to Telemann as it did to Mozart or Beethoven), a suite, and a series of concertos (which also meant something else to him).
These quartets are Juilliard specialties, and anyone wanting to hear this music played with a near ideal combination of virtuosity and humanity need look no further. Carter's quartets are not for the musically faint of heart: they are uncompromisingly thorny, intricate pieces that require lots of intense, dedicated listening. Very few people doubt their seriousness–or even their claims to musical greatness–but just as few people enjoy listening to them. Perhaps this spectacular set will encourage the adventurous to give them a shot. They're worth the time.
This cd brings out some amazing aspects of the Brahms sextets. Brahms playing in general have never been close to this! The instruments are strung with gut strings, as the instruments were at the time it was written, which creates some really unique sounds and gives an amazingly free bowing phrasing. When the steel-string sonorities and the constant vibrato has been removed, a pure and vital sound is created which gives so much to the music of Johannes Brahms, at least in the sextets.