Today, currently, it's 84 degrees in Richmond, VA. My OS X weather widgets always display the temperature, alongside the read-out for Merced, CA. I've got a 14-degree lead. Ok, I am hot upstairs here. And what better music to celebrate the full-force impact of Spring? Telemann: Paris Quartets, as performed by the Trio Sonnerie with Wilbert Hazelzet. Whenever I've heard a Paris Quartet live, I admire Telemann's writing. They have that certain style about them, that "level of class" that might be missing in a more rustic piece like Vivaldi's trio sonata "La Folia," or one of Biber's so-called "Mystery" sonatas. Some years ago (I can remember the store, actually, in Westlake, OH, this little independent record store that had a classical section) I picked up both of Sonnerie's discs; you can now find them in a two-for-one packaging. Huggett and company do a real nice recording with Mr. Hazelzet, a once long-time and founding member of Musica Antiqua Köln. Here, however, they don't play as a "a few regulars plus a guest," but instead, play these works together, as if one mind is behind the whole sound. The French quality of these works is reinforced through the use of a viola da gamba. Telemann chooses all kinds of forms for his "Quartets," including suites, "concertos," and more traditional sonatas. Some of the characterizations, such as Fatteusement are interesting, to say the least, and while more simple gestures are implied through Gai or Vite, each one of these special tracks embues a flavor that shows us both façades of light and dark. Somehow, under the atomosphere of a warm afternoon with bright sunshine these works seem very apporpriate. I know I've reviewed these discs before, but I make mention of the Quatuor no. 6 from the companion disc, and its last movement, a Modéré, which could be Telemann's most masterfully written piece. It's not a hot, spring afternoon piece, but is something far more reserved for once dusk comes, and cooler breezes blow the trees outside. The simple lines between flute, violin, and gamba are just that: simple, but it's the tone of the original instruments, the E-minor key, and baroque gesture that put this writing over the top. It's a sublimely beautiful movement that Sonnerie makes magic with. This one 4 3/4 minute track is worth the price of the entire CD.