One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Antonín REJCHA [Anton / Antoine REICHA] (1770 -1836)
Wind Quintet in Bb, Op 88, #5 (1817) [33.25]
Wind Quintet in C, Op 91, #1 (1818) [29.39]
Michael Thompson Wind Quintet: Michael Thompson, horn; Jonathan Snowden, flute; Derek Wickens, oboe; Timothy Lines, clarinet; John Price, bassoon.
Recorded at St. Paulís Church, Rusthal, Kent, England, 27 November 1995.
Notes in English and Deutsch
NAXOS 8.554227 [63.04]

Comparison Recording of Reicha Wind Quintet:

Op 88 #5 Academia Wind Quintet of Prague, Hyperion CDD22006

These pieces by Beethoven-contemporary Reicha, Professor of Counterpoint and Fugue at the Paris Conservatory, reside among the greatest music ever written. When they were composed they went at once to the "top of the charts" and brought to their composer even greater renown although he was already a popular and respected figure. Reicha did for the wind quintet what Bach did for the keyboard prelude and fugue, what Haydn did for the string quartet, what Mozart did for the symphony ó that is, he lifted it to Parnassus. It was only the decline in the popularity of wind ensemble music in general that caused these works to fall out of currency, but that situation is being remedied.

Reicha eventually became a French citizen so the French spelling of his name is very often the one encountered; Liszt, Gounod, Berlioz and Franck were among his pupils. One can imagine the collected professors of the Conservatoire as they performed these works in the Grand Foyer of the Théâtre Favart in the years up to 1820. The richness of invention, the tunefulness, the variety of sound qualities, rhythmic variation are endlessly fascinating, endlessly delightful. This is a disk you will enjoy listening to over and over again, and it will make you hunger for more. Good news! There are 22 more quintets yet to hear!

Both recordings are digitally recorded and beautifully performed. There is very little basis to choose between the two, but perhaps the English players have just the slightest edge in playful good spirits. But, then, you get more quintets with the Hyperion two disk set. Since there is only one overlap between the two, you might want to have both as I do. There is no indication that Naxos intend to continue recording more these wonderful and underappreciated works, but letís hope they do.

Paul Shoemaker

see also review by Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Symphonic Works

Frederico Mompou

Extraordinary Music for Organ


Gunnar Kristinsson Moonbow

Mozart and Contemporaries


La clarinette Parisienne


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.