Zefiro has already proved its strong affinity with Georg Philipp Telemann’s music, and the ensemble’s recording of his Ouvertures a 8 was awarded a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. As Julie Anne Sadie pointed out, ‘the much-vaunted lean muscularity of the Ensemble Zefiro performances favours the wind instruments and, when joined with one-to-a-part strings, produces a freshly balanced sonority that alters our experience of these works’.
The 250th anniversary of Telemann's death offers now a neat incentive to re-release this successful recording – originally issued on the Ambroisie label – on which his Wassermusik, generally referred to as Hamburg Ebb and Flow, is coupled with Handel’s more familiar aquatic suites. Both are occasional pieces composed within a few years of each other, the former written to celebrate the centenary of the Admiralty in Hamburg, and the latter for royal water parties on the Thames. Unlike Handel’s work, Telemann’s suite attempts to evoke images of water, aided by references in the titles to scenes and characters associated with the sea, and may therefore be considered as ‘programme music’.