Telemann Quatuors Parisiens
Ensemble Nevermind. Alpha, 2017
Georg Philipp Telemann, who lived contemporaneously with Bach and Handel, represents a great example of “the successful” composer from the Baroque era. By many accounts, he was liked, wrote a prodigious amount of music, and got to travel and enjoy a number of different positions. Moreover, he was regarded as a writer of music. Most composers were seen first as performers. “Composing” was a pragmatic art, mixed up in the spontaneously generative art of improvisation.
I first discovered Nevermind because of their keyboard player, Jean Rondeau, and a YouTube video of them playing some Telemann was something I watched several times. And now they finally have an album that fits the format of their ensemble, the so-called Paris Quartets. Members of the ensemble present a number of the pieces:
- TWV 43:h2 (the key is represented by the letter, lowercase = minor, uppercase is major)
- TWV 43:F1
- TWV 43:G1
- TWV 43:e4
That last piece ends with a slower movement, a Modéré, and is one of my favorite pieces. Certainly my favorite by Telemann.
In short, Nevermind’s album is superb. And that, admittedly, doesn’t say much; there are a lot of renditions of these already in the marketplace. One thing I have to point out, however, is the excellent sound quality. As we might expect from their previous album of French baroque music, they can choose quick tempi, but never so quick that you think it’s too much. Everything is clean, clear, and very polished. And the Modéré is really good, too.