Georg Philipp Telemann: Viola Concertos - Overtures - Fantasias
Telemann did much to establish the viola as a solo instrument in its own right. This collection, played gloriously by Antoine Tamestit—with characteristically stylish and imaginative orchestral support from Berlin’s Akademie für Alte Musik—is terrific. Working with a 1672 Stradivarius instrument, mellow of tone and velvety of texture, the French violist digs deep into these glorious pieces, bringing out their nobility as well as their vitality. He’s especially fine in the two solo fantasias and the duo with fellow viola player Sabine Fehlandt. Listening to this album, it’s easy to see why Telemann was so admired by his contemporaries (and friends) Bach and Handel.