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This delightful disc contains the little- known suite of character dances assembled in 1959 by Adolf Hoffmann from various instrumental works by Telemann as a counterpart to his Singende Geographie. Musica Fiorita reconceives Hoffmann’s bland score for strings and continuo imaginatively on instruments ranging from recorders, violins and gamba to baroque guitar, psaltery and loads of percussion.

Through impeccable and spirited playing, the listener is taken on a grand tour that is always entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny. Afficionados will enjoy recognising national stereotypes: the drones of the English-Irish-Scottish gigue, clacking percussion in the Provençal rigaudon, the poignant treble recorder in the air from Lower Saxony, playful drumrolls in the Hungarian marche, or the Lydian fourths of the Turkish mezzetin. Klingende Geographie is reminiscent of ‘exotic’ works like Rameau’s Les Indes galantes but, without plot or lyrics, less problematic for the modern listener, leaving us free to enjoy the cornucopia of musical styles.

Trish Shaw Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing