One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for Ł10 postage paid world-wide.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791)
String Quintet in B flat, K174
String Quintet in C, K515
String Quintet in B flat, K174 (Menuetto & Allegro; first abandoned versions)
Chilingirian Quartet (Levon Chilingirian & Charles Sewart (violins), Susie Mészáros (viola), Philip de Groote (cello)), Yuko Inoue (viola)
rec. 8-10 November, 2005, Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, UK.
CRD 3521 [72:36]

This is the first of the three volumes of their survey of Mozart’s string quintets by the Chilingirian Quartet, supplemented by the eminent violist Yuko Inoue. As well as recording the six complete works, they included fragments and alternative or abandoned versions of movements, such as those provided for K 174 here, permitting the listener to judge, which are better.

The earlier work, written when Mozart was just seventeen, is thoroughly likeable and enjoyable, without being especially profound. It already features the frequent, expressive dialogues between the lead violin and viola, which became the hallmark of Mozart’s writing in this genre and reflects his own proficiency on the latter instrument. The opening movement has a lovely, warm sonority with some beautifully timed pregnant pauses before minor key passages, suggestive of a faint foreboding. The Adagio is again predominately dark in timbre with some elegantly executed arpeggios and ornamentations. The first version of the Menuetto is a rather obvious, repetitious and stiff-legged waltz, whose development is overlong and is succeeded by a stuttering Allegretto trio which is essentially a reprise of the main subject and thus lacking in contrast; the revised version is preferable in that a skipping trio is sandwiched between the main Menuetto theme and its repeat. However, my preference in the two versions of the finale is for the first: it gives greater prominence to the viola, which leads and is echoed by the first violin. The scurrying semiquavers punctuated by emphatic chords thus have a darker texture and the viola’s line is musically more complex and interesting, a feature enhanced by the momentary pauses in the propulsive moto perpetuo of the movement – but the whole point of this recording is that the listener may select the programme as s/he sees fit.

K 515 is the great twin of K 516, which is found in the second volume of this series; it is obviously a bigger, bolder and more mature work, which takes some surprising turns in its harmonies, melodies and key relationships. The Allegro opens with a sinuous, serpentine tune in the first violin, which is of course then echoed by the viola, and creates an atmosphere of tense expectation and apprehension. The quintet here plays those long paragraphs of melody full out in big, sweeping waves of sound with ample tone. The Menuetto opens with another echoed and arpeggiated tune, very gracefully played here; especially appealing is the lilting waltz fragment in the Trio. The typically vocal quality of Mozart’s writing is most apparent in the Andante, which is a spiralling duet between the soprano and mezzo registers of the two lead instruments, their intertwining underpinned by a bass commentary from the cello and a chorus from the ensemble; delightful. The Allegro finale sports a catchy little tune, interrupted by melancholy flashes, before returning to Mozart’s default position of sunny security, despite the travails of his private life.

I have made little comment on the artistic, interpretative quality of the playing here as I find that it is uniformly superlative throughout all three volumes, as is the first rate sound.

Ralph Moore


We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

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: See what you will get

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