Telemann Wind Quintets, Vol. 1 – Pleasantly tuneful

Let’s be clear: the wind ensemble of Telemann’s time was vastly different than the ones we have today. Clarinets, metal flutes, valved brass instruments, and percussion were later additions to the ensemble.

The lineup of L’Orfeo Bläserensemble is one Telemann was familiar with: two oboe d’amore, two F horns, and bassoon. Lute and cembalo provide the basso continuo.

It’s a pleasing combination of instruments. The overall sound is dark and warm. Telemann often places the oboe d’amore in opposition to the horns. Many of the movements have an easy give-and-take between the reeds and the horns.

Most of the works on this recording are Baroque overtures. Each features a series of short dance movements. These were works written for light entertainment, and they succeed.

I’d recommend this release to just about anyone. The works are charming and the performances elegant and refined. You can enjoy this release as an hour of casual entertainment, or as a deep dive into a little-known facet of Baroque music.

Georg Philipp Telemann: Wind Overtures, Vol. 1
L’Orfeo Bläserensemble; Carin van Heerden, conductor

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