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Wiener Kammerserenade: Works by Schubert, Haydn and Mozart

Wiener Kammerserenade: Works by Schubert, Haydn and Mozart

Emsland-Ensemble Ensemble

CD: 1
Tracks: 9
Length: 59:11

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Musicaphon
Rel. 1 Jan 2007
Recorded 2005

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Wiener Kammerserenade: Works by Schubert, Haydn and Mozart This "Vienna Chamber Serenade" would, in its essentials, not have sounded unusual or out of place to a Viennese audience of the early nineteenth century—arrangements of orchestral works for smaller ensembles were made as the need arose to serve the requirements of aristocratic households, and especially handy ones were published and earned monetary rewards for their now forgotten makers. The arrangements here are contemporary, and they're full of delightful precision in the ways they reduce orchestral textures to an octet consisting of one each of the members of the orchestral string family, plus clarinet, horn, and bassoon. Germany's Emsland-Ensemble is sprightly indeed in the opening Schubert Overture in D major in the Italian Style, D. 590, and it does admirably at solving the balance problems that come up when a horn appears in the midst of a group of solo instruments—the controlled horn playing of Holger Nie├čing is a marvel in itself. The Mozart "Posthorn" Serenade, K. 320, was a light work of very flexible instrumentation anyway, and the Super Audio sound from the Musicaphon label is top-notch, both intimate and clear.

That's a lot of good news, but the good news ends there. The problem is that the choice of the Haydn Symphony No. 45 in F sharp minor, the famed "Farewell" symphony, for this project is likely to stick in the listener's craw. The final movement was reputedly framed by Haydn as a kind of musical vacation request—the players of the orchestra fall silent one by one until just a pair of violins is left. That effect is, of course, largely lost when the music is reduced to octet size—what remains is pleasant enough, but one wonders why, when so many other Haydn symphonies were available, this one had to be chosen. It's an in-your-face decision that mars the otherwise lovely results of this musical experiment.

© James Manheim, All Music Guide
Portions of Content Provided by All Music Guide.
© 2008 All Media Guide, LLC. All Music Guide is a registered trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.
AMG
CD 1
1 Overture in D, D.590 7:42
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2 1.Allegro assai 4:57
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3 2.Adagio 8:36
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4 3.Menuet: Allegretto 3:27
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5 4.Finale: Presto 8:18
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6 1.Adagio maestoso. Allegro con spirito 8:06
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7 2.Andantino 7:50
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8 2b.Minuetto 4:43
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9 3.Presto 5:32
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