Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Quintet for Piano and Winds Op.16 (1795/96) [27.16]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)

Quintet for Piano and Winds K.452 (1784) [26.25]
Allan Vogel (oboe)
David Shifrin (clarinet)
Robin Graham (horn)
Ken Munday (bassoon)
Carol Rosenberger (piano)
Rec: Santa Ana High School Auditorium, May 1984
DELOS DE 3024 [55.50]
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Whether Beethoven modelled his wind quintet on Mozartís is not known (both men wrote only one each) but itís an attractive work. By the 1780s the harpsichord had given way to the piano, now a more robust and loud instrument in its development, thus the balance between the fairly formidable collective sound of four winds was more manageable (a good example of the antiphonal effect of piano versus the winds is Track 1: 12í20"). For crooking purposes regarding the French horn, both works also share the key of E flat major, and Beethovenís work remains still very much in the Mozartian classical mould, a slow introduction is used for each work. After the piano dominates the opening of the lovely Andante, the oboe, bassoon, and clarinet respectively take the limelight for the second subject, while the spotlight turns on the horn only as the music drifts dreamily into the minor (Track 2: 04í 03"), an exquisite moment in the work. A jolly Rondo concludes and is highly reminiscent of Mozartís Piano Concerto No.22 K.482, also in E flat major and with wind instruments dominating the orchestral contribution. Perhaps Beethoven was familiar with that work.

Mozartís Wind Quintet relates very closely to his piano concertos (of which seventeen out of the twenty-seven were written in Vienna) and the absence of string textures only goes to confirm how adept he was in producing such quality work. He often pairs the wind instruments off, oboe with bassoon (such as the start of the slow movement) and clarinet with horn, then brings all four together to contrast with the piano in assertively loud climaxes. A charmingly simple and bright melody is the main material for the Rondo finale with its almost comical underpinning of the ensemble by the bassoon (Track 6: 01í15" and 04í09"), reminding us that the instrument was one of Mozartís favourites, but the minor interlude (Track 6: 02í08") remains the apogee of the movement.

Both works are given stylish performances by this unnamed ensemble, each player phrasing deftly and sensitively aware of the internal balance of the group and shining in his or her many solo moments. It would have been more logical to start the CD with Mozartís work and follow it with Beethovenís, if only to trace the development of this unique combination of instruments within the canon of chamber music.

Christopher Fifield


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Quintet in E flat Major op.16:
Grave-Allegro, ma non troppo

Andante cantabile

Rondo: Allegro, ma non troppo

Quintet in E flat Major K.452:
Largo-Allegro moderato



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