May-June 2011, "American Record Guide" magazine
Some months back (S/O 2009) I welcomed the appearance of Vol. 1 in this series (82007, 1 SACD). I noted its standing in relation to the parallel series under Patrick Peire for the Brilliant label that is also recording all of Telemann’s surviving orchestral suites, or ouvertures— around 120 of them.
Somehow I have missed Vol. 2 in this Caro Mitis series, so I am not sure what it contained. What has not changed is the high quality of period-instrument playing by this conductorless group based in Moscow. And a correspondingly commendable quality of the series is the inclusion of very thorough and illuminating annotations.
This volume offers six suites (in D, B, D minor, B minor, E, and G), most of them recording debuts. Five of them are scored for strings and are given here with an added pair of oboes and a bassoon, playing cola parte or doubling the parts for violins and bass. The exception is the G-major Suite for solo violin with strings and continuo. In this the genre of the French format of ouverture followed by five dance movements is blended with the Italianate idea of a solo (concertante) role for the first violinist. In some movements where the violin is given prominence, the texture makes one think of what Vivaldi was doing with the solo concerto in Italy.
The notes also point out some instances of folk influences on Telemann, especially from his study of Polish hanak music: and the Emajor Suite here ends with a frank plunge into that idiom in a brief, brisk final movement marked ‘Hanasky’.
Exemplary recording sound. This series is marked by excellent taste and discernment.