52,943 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

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Gloriæ Dei Cantores

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907)
Sextet for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, Op. 6 (1886/1888) [27:28]
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Sextet for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, FP 100 (1932/1939) [18:26]
Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997)
L’heure du Berger for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn (1947) [7:47]
Margarita Höhenrieder (piano); Kammerharmonie der Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden
rec. Klosterbibliothek Polling, Germany
SOLO MUSICA SM251 [53:48]

Although his music was popular during his lifetime, Ludwig Thuille’s reputation seems to have fallen by the wayside to some extent. Having said that, labels such as Naxos seem to be heading a rehabilitation process, and the Sextet now has a couple of alternative versions on CD. He became a life-long friend of Richard Strauss, but whereas Strauss developed progressively, Thuille remained rooted in late Romanticism. His early works are dominated by larger scored chamber music, of which this Op. 6 Sextet remains one of its most popular examples. The scoring he opts for was novel at the time. Two outer fast movements bookend two slower inner ones. The more substantial first movement, with its strikingly memorable first subject, is not short of lush melody. In the lyrical Larghetto, which follows, the horn takes centre stage; its autumnal feel recalls Brahms. The third movement is a particularly delightful Gavotte, in which the bassoon is given some prominence. The work ends with an energetic and uplifting finale.

Poulenc’s humour, wit, urbanity and dilettantism, characteristic traits of Les Six, of which he was the youngest member, imbue his delightful Sextet. He had a love of wind instruments, and all but three of his thirteen chamber works feature them. In those, combining winds and strings, the latter group seems lesser profiled. The Sextet follows the three-movement slow-fast-slow template, favoured by the composer. The first movement makes its presence felt from the start, with a dramatic opening gesture. The music is extrovert, and the scoring fully exploits the instrument’s individual characters and colours. The slow movement begins with a lyrical oboe theme, with the horn offering some discreet support. To add some contrast, there’s a whimsical middle section. Geniality and good humour permeate the first half of the rondo finale. The second half is more pensive and subdued.

Françaix’s style, with its wit and irony, was very close to that of Poulenc. The three movements, which make up L'heure du Berger are titled ‘Les vieux beaux’ (The Old Dandies), ‘Pin-Up Girls’ and ‘Les petits nerveux’ (Nervous Children), and each vividly portrays these three groups in a café. It’s a glance back to the Twenties.

There are excellent contributions from all concerned, with the soloists vividly captured in the sympathetic acoustic of Klosterbibliothek Polling. This release constitutes a valuable addition to any chamber music collection.
Stephen Greenbank
Previous review: Michael Cookson



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

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