I wrote that I would be avoiding recordings this year, but while driving and searching for the traffic report, I happened onto some samples from a recording by the Swiss recorder player Maurice Steger and was staggered. It was gutsy, animated, sometimes even over-the-top playing; it was detail-rich and those details were always musical. The repertoire is two concertos and an overture by Telemann, a composer whose music is too often played simply for its abundant charm. These performances chucked the charm and went for genuine shock and awe (we know all about fake shock and awe nowadays; this is the real thing). While the sound design of the recording may have enhanced this impression, Steger’s playing with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin achieved a dynamism that forces me, at least, to totally reasess what the recorder can and might be able to do.

Daniel Wolf about the CD ‘Telemann Flötenwerke’ in renewablemusic.

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