Ensemble Meridiana - Tastes of Europe - Southern California Early Music Society

Bach's old rival Telemann has resurfaced on a gorgeous new release from Linn Records, featuring the debut recording of the award-winning multi-national Ensemble Meridiana.

Judging by their publicity photographs, which generously adorn the liner notes, they are a thoroughly young and glamorous lot. They also play like angels and lead off with one of Telemann's signature quartets, which rightly suggests that he might have worn the sobriquet of the German answer to Corelli, although the two composers are different as dumplings and pasta could be.

The CD is called Tastes of Europe and the music is all by Telemann with the exception of a notably remote composer named Pierre Prowo (1697 - 1757) who, according to recorder, voice flute and Baroque bassoon player Dominique Tingueley's heartfelt and engagingly conversant liner notes, has gained an eternal entry as a composer whose work Telemann unwittingly - a real opus posthumous if ever there was one - filched, and nearly for posterity. Thanks to Meridiana, this work will now find a new identity as a footnote beside a TWV number and Pierre Prowo will have his rightful place in history.

The recording was made at the National Centre for Early Music, St. Margate's Church, Walmgate, York, UK. It's an extraordinary setting and also the site of the National Centre for Early Music. The porch of St. Margaret's itself is renowned as a rich and beautiful example of pure Norman craftsmanship. Set well back from the street across a large churchyard, it was first mentioned in a charter dated between 1177 and 1181. The doorway, dating from around 1160, is said to have come from St Nicholas's Church in Lawrence Street, which was destroyed in the siege of York in 1644. And we talk about the Venice canals and what it would have been like to punt around in gondolas where the tragic round now stands.

Southern California Early Music Society
06 May 2011