"One of their strongest issues to date. The programme is imaginative, the content varied and the playing of a very high order . . . Excellent." CD review of Telemann string concertos, BBC Music Magazine, 2003
Goebel, Musica Antiqua Köln and Telemann
Reinhard Goebel, his Musica Antiqua Köln, Georg Philipp Telemann - names that have become inseparably and invaluably linked during the past 30 years. The newest recording by Goebel and Musica Antiqua Köln features Telemann's flutequartets, brilliantly imaginative, kaleidoscopically colourful works for three melody instruments and continuo that have been called his "most original contribution to the history of chamber music" (The New Grove, 2001). And the "quadri" selected by Reinhard Goebel for this new disc, some of them innovatively incorporating features of the concerto, are among Telemann's supreme examples of a genre he virtually invented.
"Although it's considerably harder to disseminate new truths than to perpetuate old foolishness ad absurdum, I hope the present recording will nonetheless dispel certain odeurs and be regarded as contributing to a new image of Telemann." Reinhard Goebel expressed this hope in 1987 with the release of his recording of Telemann wind concertos. But already with their first Telemann LP in 1979, he and his Musica Antiqua were vehemently crusading against those "certain odeurs", the labels - "polygraph" and producer of Hausmusik, ormusic for domestic consumption - that had been attached unfairly to the prolific composer. Their disc of Telemann's chamber concertos was one of the very first Archiv Produktion recordings by Musica Antiqua Köln, which was formed in 1973, and the fresh wind with which it confronted reviewers was greeted with both enthusiasm and suspicion. But there was unanimous agreement that something new was happening here with old Telemann, something that the critics of the day felt would "undoubtedly provide a very interesting forum for debate. Those interested in Telemann would be unwise to pass it by" (Records and Recording, January 1980). In fact, Reinhard Goebel has seen to it, not only through his interpretations of Telemann, but also through his perspective on the works of, for example, Bach, Biber and Heinichen, that so-called Early Music has constantly provided "an interesting forum for debate" over the last three decades.
The present production is Goebel's eighth with works by Telemann, the most-recorded composer by Musica Antiqua on Deutsche Grammophon's Archiv Produktion label, followed closely by his fellow musician and friend Johann Sebastian Bach. It is not the quantity of productions, however, but their exceptional quality and, above all, their infectious vivacity, which has earned Goebel's Telemann performances a central position in the recorded history of Early Music. Writing on Sinfonia spirituosa, a CD of string concertos released in 2002 that went on to win an "Echo" Award, one critic stated: "No persuasion is needed for the confident, extrovert Sinfonia spirituosa, here played with such infectious bounce that I fully expected my speakers to start dancing. Viva Goebel! Viva Telemann!" (Fanfare, September 2002).
In acknowledgement of his "worldwide efforts on behalf of the promulgation of Telemann's works" Reinhard Goebel received the 2002 Georg Philipp Telemann Prize from the composer's native city of Magdeburg. And Goebel together with his Musica Antiqua Köln will surely never tire of working in their inimitably spirited fashion, and with razor-sharp discrimination in matters of performance practice, to ensure the continued promulgation of Telemann's music. That's a big assignment, for Telemann was famously prolific - thank goodness. Andrea Hechtenberg 2/2005
Critical Acclaim on Musica Antiqua Köln's Latest Release
HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ BIBER Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: diversi mode accordata
Musica Antiqua Köln Reinhard Goebel
2 CD 00289 474 9652
Musica Antiqua Köln is on strong form, bringing character to the many dances and variation movements... the new issue offers stimulation and satisfaction in equal measure. BBC Music Magazine (London), July 2004
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber's status as one of the greatest Austro-German composers before JS Bach is confirmed in spades in this typically fiery, impassioned interpretation of his trio partitas, the Harmonia Artificioso-ariosa... the depth of that fascination is clear in every bar of these eloquent, gesture rich performances. Music Week (London), 12 June 2004
The white-hot intensity and infectious "drive" that animate this latest recording speak for themselves. There is no better way of describing the rhythmic exuberance that makes Goebel's music making so distinctive than the term "drive" as used in pop music and jazz to mean something more than mere verve. No single player stands out, no technical limitations hold back Goebel and his partner. The playing of these two violinists blends symbiotically to produce a picture in sound that seems capable of being seized, touched and embraced. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2 October 2004
Not only have Goebel and his four comrades-in-arms on the violin, viola, cello and harpsichord produced the euphonious harmonies promised by the composer, they have also illuminated to a hitherto unknown extent the experimental aspect of these works, their inner wealth of interrelationships and their delightful play with harmonics. Listeners who have not yet discovered Biber's music for themselves will find a first-class opportunity to do so with the present CDs. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 16 June 2004
Goebel constructs the musical argument along superb lines: in the great Aria and Variations from Partita no. 6, for example, he begins slowly, then builds up an electrifying accelerando over fourteen minutes. [...] Also worth mentioning are the extraordinary Praeludium that opens the Partita no. 3 and the delightful Pollicinello. Diapason (Paris), July 2004