One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
String Quintet in F major, WAB 1143 (1879) [44:55]
Intermezzo in D minor for string quintet (1879) [9:56]
Quartet in C minor , WAB 111 (1862-3) [22:06]
Fitzwilliam String Quartet (Lucy Russell, Jonathan Sparey, Colin Scobie (violins); Alan George (viola); Heather Tuach (cello))
James Boyd (viola)
rec. 2010/11, St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, UK. DDD
LINN CKD402 [76:33]

While the Quintet was a mature work written by a composer who already had five symphonies to his credit, Bruckner’s Quartet was essentially a student piece written for the Linz cellist and conductor Otto Kitzler, under whom Bruckner was studying. However, there is nothing amateur or tentative about that composition; it is dramatic, lyrical and passionate by turns and makes a lovely companion piece to the sublime Quintet and its discarded Intermezzo.

My point of comparison for the Quintet and Intermezzo is with the 1993 recording by the Raphael Ensemble on Hyperion/Helios. The links between that recording and this from Linn are not only that they are equally desirable but that the distinguished violist James Boyd took part in both. I would not part with either but in any case both the artistic approach and couplings are different: the Raphael give us a sterling performance of the String Sextet from the Prelude to Strauss’s “Capriccio” but also a different interpretative and presentational stance.

Linn Records give us even bigger, warmer, fuller sound and even though the Fitzwilliam Quartet use gut strings and play with considerably less vibrato, their tuning is impeccable. With the exception of the Adagio, they also take considerably more time over their phrasing, and despite maintaining a stricter rhythm are in fact even more ripely Romantic, happily employing portamento and sometimes taking on what sounds almost like a keening tone. The Raphael, by contrast, are freer, generally faster and more impulsive, relying on a more overtly traditional, throbbing sonority. Both ensembles succeed in marrying the typically disparate moods of the cheerful, rustic dance music, frequently in three-quarter time and reminiscent of Dvořak, with the stately, sonorous block harmonies of the slow movements, which emerge with a Brahmsian intensity. It is also noticeable how often the Fitzwilliam observe Bruckner’s request for ppp in dynamics; their hushed close to the Adagio of the Quintet is exquisite.

All Brucknerians will welcome this issue from Linn, which not only unites all of Bruckner’s significant chamber music in one superb recording but also represents the culmination of a project proceeding from the collaboration between Linn and the Fitzwilliam Quartet, with financial support from the Bruckner Journal (UK) and the Bruckner Society of America.
 
Ralph Moore

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger