Janitsch: Berlin Quartets / Il Gardellino / Janitsch / Il Gardellino, Composer: Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, Orchestra/Ensemble: Il Gardellino, Number of Discs: 1. The reign of King Friedrich II of Prussia ushered in a "Golden Age" of music at the Berlin court, at which the monarch himself actively participated as flutist and composer. Johann Gottlieb Janitsch was also active there, alongside his far more renowned colleagues Quantz, Graun, C.P.E. Bach and the Benda brothers. All these composers, including Janitsch, wrote not only for the rather conservative court, however, but also created numerous works for the considerably more open minded noble and bourgeois Berlin salons. His quartets are distinguished by their expressive style, original thematic ideas, rich harmonies, syncopated rhythms and refined techniques of ornamentation. In additional, they captivate listeners through their colorful, diversified and at times unusual scoring. The fact that Janitsch never fails to set the "right tone" of the modern, gallant style in his quartets, despite his consummate mastery of contrapuntal techniques, makes these works precious highlights of chamber music of the North.