young Israel-based Aviv Quartet have been the recipients of several
prestigious awards and present for their Naxos recording debut
three of Franz Anton Hoffmeister’s string quartets.
qualifying as a lawyer, Hoffmeister co-founded a renowned publishing
house and is better remembered in the music world as a music publisher
than a composer. His impressive list of famous clients included
Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Pleyel, Vanhal, Clementi et al.
was a most prolific composer and according to my version of ‘Grove’
wrote over 350 works that featured the flute as a solo instrument,
120 works for strings, 50 plus symphonies and nocturnes for orchestra,
eight operas and many other works. I understand that Hoffmeister
wrote twenty three string quartets in total and this disc features
the three Opus 14 quartets that he published in 1791.
a premier music publisher and friend of many famous composers
few others would have had the access to as much music as Hoffmeister.
In view of this it is not surprising that Hoffmeister’s music
was widely influenced by others. For those who have not come across
Hoffmeister’s string quartets, as a general guide I would describe
them as being finely worked with an abundance of character and
stylistic similarities to those of both early Haydn and Mozart
without reaching the intensity of feeling and achieving the creative
vitality of those great masters. What immediately strikes me about
these convincing and appealing quartets is how they brim over
with attractive melodies and consistently maintain a mood of unbridled
performers play with a real youthful enthusiasm of vim and vigour
that always feels secure and technically accomplished. The Aviv
quartet led by Sergey Ostrovsky is the most exciting ensemble
that I have heard for some time and they are I feel destined for
an esteemed career.
and adept string quartets from an almost forgotten composer and
another sure-fire winner from the champion Naxos stable.