52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2

alternatively Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Georg Wenzel RITTER (1744-1808)
Six Quartets for Bassoon and Strings Op.1 (c.1779)
Paolo Carlini (bassoon)
I Virtuosi Italiani
rec. Sala Maffeiana del Teatro Filarmonico, Verona, April 2006  
NAXOS 8.570500 [59:07]

Georg Wenzel Ritter was a bassoonist, whose father played in the famous Mannheim orchestra. By the time he was fifteen so was Georg. Later he followed King Friedrich Wilhelm II to Munich where he remained until his death in 1808. Ritter was greatly admired; Mozart intended the bassoon part in the Sinfonia concertante K297b for Ritter as indeed he did the obbligato parts in Idomeneo, and they met in Paris and Munich.
Ritter was a composer as well as an executant. He wrote two bassoon concertos and the Op.1 Quartets recorded here. They were written around 1779 and are cast in two movements – generally an Allegro followed by a Rondeau or Minuetto. They show the expected finesse of a composer-practitioner; range, colour, breath control, balance. They’re well written, pleasing, elegantly crafted, and often enjoyable works.
He gives the violin some expected concertante roles throughout the set and in that respect he exercises democratic distribution of melodic interest between the violin and the bassoon. For the main part the viola and cello have dramatically subservient roles. The bassoon runs in the Allegro of No.1 sounds not unadjacent to the solo violin runs in Mozart’s violin concertos – the ethos is not dissimilar. The Rondeau finale of this quartet is buoyant and bubbling if rather conventional.
The Second Quartet has a more stately and refined profile albeit one fizzing with lots of figuration. There are some fine exchanges between bassoon and violin though this time the former claims the greatest share of interest. Ritter gives the second melody to the violin in the Third Quartet before the bassoon returns for some loquacious drollery. Its Rondeau finale is perhaps the best balanced of the finales with well contrasted and a relaxed pattern of voice distribution. The Rondeau Gratioso of the Fourth Quartet is the one with the greatest amount of sheer charm, finely evinced in this performance.
This disc sheds some interesting light on a Mozartian protagonist, one whose compositional achievements, whilst modest, also manage to enrich the repertoire of bassoon chamber music. The performances are good, the recording equally so. Not essential but certainly unusual fare.
Jonathan Woolf


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

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

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Return to Review 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.