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

2021
67,048 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

MusicWeb - "A Beacon of Probity and Integrity" - Ralph Moore

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

 

 


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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Quintet in A major for clarinet and strings, K581 (1789) [32:28]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Quintet in B minor for clarinet and string quartet, Op.115 (1891) [38:58]
Eli Eban (clarinet)
Alexander String Quartet
rec. 2019, St Stephens Episcopal Church, Belvedere, USA
FOGHORN CLASSICS FCL2021 [71:26]

My last experience the Alexander String Quartet came in its rewarding meeting with Joyce Yang in the Mozart Piano Quartets (review). The unexaggerated excellence of this collaboration owed much to the essentials of clarity and refined warmth, and to obvious questions of resolved balance between the instruments. These questions resurface in another collaboration, this time with Eli Eban in what might yet become the clarinet coupling equivalent of the Bruch-and-Mendelssohn Violin Concerto diptych.

And if it’s Mozart and Brahms you want, then you will find that the Alexander Quartet and Eban provide readings of lyric warmth predicated on scrupulous and nuanced musicianship. Seek no further than the lyricism of the Mozart’s opening movement but focus especially on the calibration of the pizzicati figures and tonal lustre of all the instruments. Then there’s the lucid fluidity of the Larghetto, its eloquently phrased qualities held in just balance by the musicians, who are always phrasally generous but never prepared to sacrifice musical good manners to force the issue, emotively speaking. Thus, they are crisp in the ensuing Menuetto but as they show in the finale’s variations, note values, articulation, the establishment and emergence of counter-themes and all such necessary elements are privileged over superficial excitements. They dovetail with Eban most attractively here, and indeed throughout this disc whilst the clarinetist maintains full body of tone across his range and his warmly aerated vibrato is under excellent control.

The many salient features of the Mozart relate equally to the Brahms. Here too is a warmly conceived reading that marries eloquence with structural integrity. If the outer movements may seem just a touch relaxed in tempo, that’s a product of consistency of approach. Eban’s subtle variation in variation usage, not least in the slow movement, ensures a refined sense of colour, warmly vibrated, and is always audible. And the sonority of the accompanying figures, top to bottom, remains admirable. Here again, one finds pathos of expression but never sentimentality. Both finales - here and in the Mozart - end in variations and they are charmingly inflected and characterized in both cases.

To add to the pleasure there are fine booklet notes and an excellently judged recording.

Jonathan Woolf



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

April2022


Chopin Bruce Liu


Ingeneri Volume 2


Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore


Telemann - French Cantatas 1

 

March 2022


Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra


Bruch Violin Concertos


Debussy Preludes Book 2


Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes