Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

BUY NOW 

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Music for Oboe and Strings
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91)

Oboe Quartet in F major, K370
Bernhard Henrik CRUSELL (1775-1838)

Divertimento in C major, Op 9
Johann Christian BACH (1735-82)

Oboe Quartet in B flat major, B60
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91)

Oboe Quintet in C minor, K406 (K388)
Max Artved (oboe), Elise Båtnes (violin), Tue Lautrup (violin, viola), Dimitri Golovanov (viola), Lars Holm Johansen (cello)
recorded at the Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, 11-14 January 2002
NAXOS 8.557361 [56'52"]

 

This well-planned programme of known, half-known and unknown18th century music - the sort of thing Naxos does so well - squeezes two welcome rarities between much more familiar Mozart pieces.

The best known here is the wholly delightful Oboe Quartet in F, K370 - a fun-piece if ever there was one, despite venturing briefly into the minor-key shade in its beautiful slow movement.

The Crusell Divertimento (scored for the same combination as both K370 and Bach) dates from 1822. It’s more of a concerto piece than the rest of the disc, requiring a virtuosic almost operatic personality from the soloist. Don’t underestimate it before you hear it! It’s beautifully crafted, and - as you might expect from an albeit minor contemporary of Weber, Schubert and Bellini - there’s an abundance of early-Romantic colouring, despite its obviously-Classical roots. Every commonplace idea is balanced by an agreeable surprise.

The London Bach’s two-movement Quartet is elegant and diverting, as almost always, but pretty lightweight.

Most of us will find the so-called ‘Oboe Quintet’ - the most substantial item, however you measure substance - the most interesting. I was referring to this piece when I spoke of ‘half-known’ Mozart in my introduction. No mere curiosity, this is in fact the same piece as the Serenade in C minor (dating from 1782) for two oboes, two clarinets, two horns and two bassoons, which Mozart himself arranged and published five or six years later as the String Quintet in C minor. Its appearance here in an uncredited arrangement for oboe and string quartet is, if I may be forgiven for using the word, wholly ‘viable’. Doubly so, because it uses two violas instead of two violins (like the Horn Quintet, K407 - an admirable precedent) in order better to preserve the scoring of contrasted pairs inherent in both of Mozart’s versions. Of course an Oboe Quintet thus constituted manages to be a near-perfect compromise between the sound worlds of Wind Octet and String Quintet. Unauthentic though it may be it has no problem justifying itself. One can hardly object to the preponderance of the solo oboe, either, as this is an undoubted characteristic of the original Serenade, testing as it does the stamina of even the most experienced players. Only in the extraordinary inverted double counterpoint of the Menuetto in canone does one miss the integrity of Mozart’s first or second scoring - that’s impossible to sustain with this combination of instruments. Actually, the Serenade is no such thing: no serenade, I mean. It’s a powerfully-argued, dark-hued piece, typical of so much mature minor-key Mozart, with an intensity and seriousness of purpose light worlds away from the divertissement implied by its original title.

Max Artved is principal oboe with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and his colleagues on this disc are fellow players in the same ensemble. They are well-honed musicians, both individually and collectively: the urgency and unity of their playing in the C minor Serenade-Quintet is most compelling. You may, like me, occasionally wish for fractionally more spacious tempi, if only to give more time for phrases to breathe? Artved himself plays divinely, with a seductively beautiful tone, an impeccable sense of style, and wonderfully precise articulation. The two perfectly-focused top Fs in the Mozart Quartet bring an irresistible smile of admiration and satisfaction: this really is top-drawer oboe-playing, deserving of the most lavish praise!

Unsurprisingly, the sound, originating with Danish Radio, is outstanding, and the liner notes informative. Go buy yet another Naxos!

Peter J Lawson

see also review by Patrick Waller



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

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.