One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

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

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907)
String Quartet No.1 in A major (1878) [25:29]
Quartettsatz (1879) [11:46]
String Quartet No.2 in G major (1881) [24:30]
Allegri Quartet
rec. May 2012, Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex
CHAMPS HILL CHRCD077 [61:44]

The Allegri Quartet has a very mellifluous approach to Thuille's early quartets - though in a sense all Thuille is early, as he died at so grievously young an age. Their delicate and refined approach brings out the almost impossibly genial opening of the A major work, written in Innsbruck when he was a mere 16 years old, and thus preceding his studies with Rheinberger. Dedicated to his friend Richard Strauss this four-movement work is steeped in classical procedure, and reveals an enthusiasm for Beethoven in the slow movement, which is lightly hymnal and impressively structured. He shows he can throw in a dancing scherzo and a broadly sonata form finale which marries fluid writing and good development. He also has the confidence to bring the quartet to a triumphantly abrupt end.

The Quartettsatz is unpublished. Composed in 1879, this is its first recording, and it's a very competent sonata-allegro, presumably modelled after Schubert's. The single-movement span allows Thuille a fluidity and paragraphal flow that he hadn't quite been able to obtain in the earlier quartet, attractive though the 'prentice work was. This, by contrast, is less diffuse and more concentrated. A very lyrical work, with attractive themes, and nearly twelve minutes in length it makes for warmly attractive listening, especially in so sympathetic a reading as this.

Thuille's G major Quartet followed two years later in 1881 but it was never completed and so we are left with a three-movement torso, bereft of a finale. This is a pity as it shows a distinct advance on the earlier quartet, and a greater sophistication in matters of construction in particular. The Allegri's airy style does well by it with hints of Mendelssohn and even - to me at least - Smetana, whose own First Quartet had been written in 1880, though I'm not sure if Thuille would have known it. The sinuously ingratiating Allegri enjoy the Menuetto in particular, I sense, where the folkloric drone episode is greatly enjoyable, where the rhythm swings delightfully, and the lyric temperature is always high. The slow movement is bathed in intense elegance, but there things have to stop.

Minor though these works are, they receive affectionate performances and stylistically apt ones from the Allegri, characteristically well recorded in the Music Room, Champs Hill.

Jonathan Woolf