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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743 - 1805)
Flute Quintet Op.19 #5 in Bb, G 429 (1774) [10.07]
Flute Quintet Op.17 #6 in Eb, G 424 (1773) [7.42]
Flute Quintet Op.19 #2 in g, G 426 (1774) [12.31]
Flute Quintet Op.17 #5 in G, G 423 (1773) [8.34]
Flute Quintet Op.19 #4 in D, G 429 (1774) [8.51]
Flute Quintet Op.17 #1 in D, G 419 (1773) [10.08]
Beatrice Jaermann-Degix, flute
Quatuor Sine Nomine: Patrick Genet, François Gottraux, vv; Hans Egigi, va; Marc Jaermann, vc.
Recorded at Kirche Blumenstein, Blumenstein, Switzerland, 2 November 2002
Liner notes in English, French, and German.
CLAVES CD 50-2202 [58.24]
CD available for post-free online mail-order or you may download individual tracks. For some labels you can download the entire CD with a single click and make HUGE savings. The price you see is the price you pay! The full booklet notes are available on-line.

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I think the problem with Boccherini is the same as the problem with Telemann. Beethoven is occasionally great, occasionally terrible. Beethoven asks us to forgive him, and we are flattered for that, we forgive him, and we love him for it. Mozart and Schubert were unapproachable geniuses, but their need for us to love them brims over out of every phrase, and we love them. But Telemann and Boccherini (Boccherini was a greater composer than Telemann) don’t care whether we love them or not, and there is nothing to forgive. They produced music as effortlessly as the Spring produces flowers, in incredible quantities, gorgeous beyond imagining, in stupefying variety but all of the same quality. But they don’t need us to like them. The nineteenth century resented them for this, downgraded them to mere compilers of exercises, and went looking for somebody to forgive.

These works are all in two movements, generally fast and fast, but there are surprises. The flute parts are generally not elaborate, but, well, there are surprises. The performances are excellent; these musicians play beautifully together like one expects from a great string quartet. The flautist is as willing to let her tone blend symphonically with the strings as she is eager to take the spotlight when it is offered. There are some very difficult turns of phrase here and they pass effortlessly and with great musicality. And, as generally with Boccherini, the sense of having a good time is mostly evident, but, well, again, as always, there are surprises.

If Boccherini had written just one of these quintets and nothing more he would be regarded as a great composer. But he didn’t stop with one, he was in fact almost as prolific as Telemann! Boccherini was a cellist. These are flute quartets, right? The flute is supposed to get the spotlight. But listen to how the cellist keeps trying to upstage the flute; at times it’s like the scene in ‘Auntie Mame’.

My ‘employer’ has asked me to listen to this CD and pick my three favourite moments. What a joke! Between you and me I flipped a coin.

If you listen to nothing but Palestrina, Wagner, or Webern, you probably won’t like this disk. For the rest of us, do yourself a big favour.

Paul Shoemaker


 


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CDTnº1 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in B flat Major, Op.19 No.5
CDTnº2 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in B flat Major, Op.19 No.5
CDTnº3 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in E flat Major, Op.17. No.6
CDTnº4 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in E flat Major, Op.17. No.6
CDTnº5 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in G Minor, Op.19 No.2
CDTnº6 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in G Minor, Op.19 No.2
CDTnº7 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in G Major, Op.17 No.5
CDTnº8 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in G Major, Op.17 No.5
CDTnº9 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in D Major, Op.19 No.4
CDTnº10 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in D Major, Op.19 No.4
CDTnº11 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in D Major, Op.17 No.1
CDTnº12 - L. BOCCHERINI
Flute Quintet in D Major, Op.17 No.1




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