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Reviews

World of old times (1993)

The world of old times comes nearer at the new CD of the Quartetto Telemann with instrumentation of flute, oboe, guitar and violoncello. For the short time of its existence the ensemble managed to do a huge job. It concentrates systematically on the music of the Renaissance (Holborne, Morley, Gastoldi), Baroque (Telemann, Loeillet, Bach) and Classicism (Čart, Stamic). The only exception is František Xaver Thuri (1939), who is introduced by the record called abruptly Quartetto Telemann (Syrinx), as the author of the majestic and festive Fantasia Tristis. All members of the quartet can play several instruments which enables creating various attractive combinations.
The Quartetto Telemann with the average age under thirty years is an example of the often recalled Czech musicality. The album brings calming atmosphere to our homes and gives room to meditation. The instrumental performance is of high standard, precise in rhythm, played with interest and the composition of the programme is stylistically balanced. Bach and Telemann stand out with the legato line of the flute and a sensitive musical partnership. If you are live concert art lovers then we remind you of regular performances of the Quartetto Telemann at the Clementinum´s Chapel of Mirrors, at St.Agnes´s Convent and at the church of St.Nicholas in the Old Town.
(ed)

Concert at the chateau (1994)

The last chamber concert "at the chateau" in 1994 introduced us Telemann´s Quartet with the repertoire which expecially at the latter part reminded us of oncoming Christmas. The ensemble was founded by musicians from the National and former Smetana´s Theatre in 1988. All its members are graduates of the Academy of Performing Arts. Its unconventional composition - flute, oboe, guitar (lute) and violoncello - remains the same although there occured several changes in the cast of the ensemble. It is just this unusual instrumentation which enables interpretation of various stylistic periods - from the Renaissance to contemporary music although the repertoire is dominated by the baroque music. Telemann´s Quartet has performed extensively both at home and abroad. It recorded its first CD in 1992.
The concert began by the famous Elizabethan Serenade and continued by G. Ph. Telemann´s Trio Sonata for Flute, Oboe and Basso Continuo in E minor in which all instrumentalists - Vl. Petr (flute), David Prosek (oboe) and Jakub Dvořák (violoncello) - proved their mastership and their readiness to represent the "Czech musical bent" abroad. From the works of old masters we then heard Fr. Benda´s Sonata in F major and Andante and Rondo by K. Stamitz. Following the most famous melodies - English Christmas carols, Ave Maria by Bach - Gounod as well as Ave Maria by Schubert, the concert was closed by Czech carols.
It was a beautiful evening and we ought to give our thanks to the musicians as well as to the Mayor and to Chemapol corporation which sponsored this concert.
(Ing. Zdeněk Pokorný)

Quartetto Telemann in Clementinum (1995)

If four young musicians get together to work and play chamber music they usually found a string quartet. In the last decade of the 20th century there exists a great number of (altogether very good) string quartets, though. The competition in this branch is strong - just to name them would take up a half of the review space. The founders of the Quartetto Telemann placed the name of the great master of German baroque G. Ph. Telemann to the coat-of-arms of the chamber ensemble composed very untraditionally: flute, oboe and guitar are added to the "bass" violoncello...
I heard their performance in the Chapel of Mirrors of the Clementinum on 29 August. The first view of the programme sequence aroused a certain distrust: sixteen compositions advanced from Vivace from Telemann´s Concerto in G major through Schubert (Ave Maria), Mozart (Alla Turca), Dvořák (Largo from the symphony "From the New World") and Smetana (From a Student´s Life) to Habanera from Bizet´s Carmen and to the suites from Bernstein´s West Side Story and Löewe´s My Fair Lady.
However, my distrust gradually drifted away when I realized I was listening to capable instrumentalists who - presenting their programme under precise and correct title "Famous Encores of Famous Composers" - pretend nothing. Unlike so frequent quasi-artistically exacting evenings, in which anonymous repertory advisers smuggle the most attractive pieces among sonatas and instrumental concertos, Quartetto Telemann did not make a secret of its intention. From the first to the last bar of the approximately an-hour´s concert they amused the audience by popular miniatures known to everybody (or almost everybody).
Arrangements for the unconventional instrumentation differ a lot from the originals. It is not always possible to keep the whole structure of the original version: for example, in the well-known Dvořák´s Largo remains only the colourful sound of the solo English horn authentic while Bizet´s Habanera from Carmen is in fact just a "transcription" of the famous vocal piece as well as the waltz "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" (An der blauen schönen Donau) has only the hackneyed melody in common with Strauss´s richly coloured orchestral score. But most stylizations of the sixteen compositions played were made witty and tastefully and what is important they were presented with a visible pleasure. Both the musicians and the audience enjoyed the evening.
You may hold for a heretic blasphemy when I prefer a concert like that to the ensemble playing the original version of a concerto by Vivaldi, in which (from the musical point of view entirely unjustifiably) the cembalo is substituted by the organ, and acting as if everything was in order. In the programme of the Quartetto Telemann there was nothing "in order" in this sense. However, as it was no way out but a concious intention, none of those witty arrangements offended good taste.
(Petar Zapletal)

Renowned Quartet at the Town Hall (1996)

Pardubice - This time the Pardubice Circle of Friends of Music invited outstanding Prague musicians, the Quartetto Telemann, for the traditional concert before Christmas. This Prague chamber ensemble consisting of top players of the National and Smetana´s Theatre Orchestras - V. Petr, D. Prosek, D. Holý and P. Houdek will perform together with the successful soprano K. Fürstová. The programme of music and singing throughout centuries is dominated by the works of baroque masters. Compositions of significant authors will be heard as well as our favourite carols and a sequence of Christmas carols from various countries of the world. Lovers of the calm of Advent will have the occasion to enjoy the unique experience in the music hall of the Pardubice town hall already this Thursday at 19 o´clock.
(Dr. Milan Mikula)