Apart from his popular Canciones negras, written more than half a century ago, the compositions of the now 87-year-old Montsalvatge (in 1999) have made little impact on the musical public in general: many of his works remain unrecorded – the opera Puss in Boots, the Indian Quartet, the five Invocaciones al Crucificado and the virtuoso Harpsichord Concerto, to name only four. But there are two Montsalvatges – one with a more traditional manner, and a later more trenchant, experimental and individual. From his earlier period comes the Sinfonia Mediterranea, composed three years after the Canciones negras; its lack of fashionable ‘modernity’ tempted him at one time to consider rejecting it completely. I’m glad he didn’t, for it’s an attractive (if slightly overlong), warmly romantic work that includes melodies of a popular cast.
If you're one of those who feel Telemann has gotten a bad rap, your day has come. Here's a disc that will make even diehard skeptics take another listen to this Baroque master. Reinhard Goebel and the Musica Antiqua Köln perform a program of Telemann's chamber music for strings, including a pair of symphonies (which didn't mean nearly the same thing to Telemann as it did to Mozart or Beethoven), a suite, and a series of concertos (which also meant something else to him).