Tuesday, May 29, 2012: The Quartetto Telemann

Opus Osm

Vladimír Petr, flute; David Prosek, oboe; Václav Petr, cello, and David Holý, mandora, in action

The Four that Play Eight

The Quartetto Telemann was founded by experienced, professional musicians in the late 1980s, and, although limited to four players, has the versatility to stretch the number of voices to six or even eight.

That’s because flutist Vladimír Petr also doubles on the recorder, the earlier relative of today’s flute. Oboist David Prosek also plays the English horn. Cellist Václav Petr offers the cello part, as well as of the viola da gamba.

And guitarist David Holý also performs on Early Music instruments such as the lute, mandora … and in a quirky, 180 degree turn, plays classic ’50s (1950′s, that is) rock ‘n roll – not here, but with the “White Shoes” (Bilý Boty) band he co-founded.

Prague’s own Quartetto Telemann (not to be confused with the Telemann Quartet of Nova Scotia, nor the musical piece for four players by Georg Philipp Telemann) has its own varied repertoire. It specializes in Baroque and classicism, but also offers lighter fare such as a medley of show tunes transposed for their classical instruments.

The quartet, under the leadership of artistic director Vladimír Petr, has released several recordings, and the members perform as a group or soloists for Czech radio and television, and in concerts throughout the Czech Republic and abroad.

The youngest member of the group, cellist Václav Petr, gave his first solo performance with an orchestra at age 12. Since 2004 he’s also been performing as a guest soloist with several orchestras, won awards at several international competitions, and continues his studies at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts (HAMU).

A concert by the Quartetto Telemann is always interesting. They offer a refreshingly light menu of musical fare, yet it’s interesting to watch the body language of each musician, as he expresses something more profound as he plays.

You can enjoy the 17th-century Allemande which the Quartetto Telemann performed May 12 at The Atrium, by clicking on the video below . — oo

– Mary Matz

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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