Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




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

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



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
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Robert FUCHS (1847-1927)
Clarinet Quintet in E flat major Op.102 (1914) [34:20]
Ferdinand THIERIOT (1838-1919)
Clarinet Quintet in E flat major (1897) [25:18]
Stephan Siegenthaler (clarinet): Stamic Quartet Prague
rec. Studio de la Fondation Tibor Varga Grimisuat/Sion, December 2005
STERLING CDA 1674-2 [59:52]

Experience Classicsonline


These two clarinet quintets fall under the rubric ‘Romantic Quintets’. Both composers had an association with Brahms. Fuchs was a particularly good friend of the older man, but though Brahms found Fuchs’s work ‘amiable’ he went on to decry it, adding that ‘there is no depth to Fuchs anywhere’. Ferdinand Thieriot, like Brahms, was born in Hamburg and it was apparently via Brahms that Thieriot obtained an appointment in Graz in 1870.

Both these lesser known composers’ reputations have dimmed over the decades. Whilst Fuchs may still attract some interest, almost none now accrues to Thieriot. Fuchs’ Clarinet Quintet was written in 1914 and first performed by Fritz Behrend and the Busch Quartet in April 1917. In four movements it’s certainly a democratic work, parcelling out some of the most passionate and declamatory writing to the quartet. It allows the clarinet its moments of long-breathed elegance emerging fully integrated from the music’s texture. Indeed, for some, the relative subservience of the clarinet may prove problematic, though I prefer to see Fuchs’ intent as a quintet of equals. The complication is how to add the wind voice to the strings in such a scheme. There’s a jaunty march in the scherzo, ending with resolute pizzicati, and a warmly lyric slow movement, certainly reminiscent of Brahms’s own clarinet quintet, and the clarinet sonatas too. The obbligato or decorative passages for clarinet are certainly striking here, as the instrument muses, comments on, or soliloquizes at times independent of the string writing. Affable and relaxed, Fuchs’ finale is certainly ‘grazioso’, though it does tend to ramble a little. Toward the end a folk-like tune emerges, to considerable benefit.

Thieriot’s Quintet was written nearly twenty years earlier, in 1897, the year of Brahms’s death. It’s altogether a lighter and jauntier work than Fuchs’. There’s an amusing, trifling quality to some of the phraseology, late-romanticism at its most ingratiating, though thematically it does rather lack a strong profile and sense of distinction. The Scherzo reprises the drollery and even the somewhat more serious trio doesn’t efface the light-hearted character of the music. The slow movement is attractively warm, never pious or precious, and the finale is leisurely and attractive. It doesn’t sound, in this performance, Allegro con fuoco, however.

The Stamic, as ever, play with devoted warmth and depth of tone. Clarinettist Stephan Siegenthaler has had an interesting career. A one time principal of the Biel Symphony, he then co-founded a medical company, which he led for a number of years before returning to full-time music; from 2008 to 2010 he was Rector of Music in Lucerne. He’s a mellifluous player, though I sense that he could be more assertive, tonally and in terms of tempo, more often.

The 2005 recording is good, catching the ensemble in plausible balance, and the notes are helpful. This is Late-Romantic chamber music of fluency, charm and elegance. There’s not a huge amount of expressive depth – Brahms’s strictures apply to a large degree – but that may not be the point. If you feel an affinity for the affiliation of clarinet and quintet and are susceptible to the genre, you will enjoy these performances.

Jonathan Woolf


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.