Monday, October 27, 2014

20th Century Wind Quintets - Hindemith - Barber - Larsson - Janácek - Michael Thompson Wind Quintet

A very nice Naxos recording from 1995/2000. My favorite Wind Quintet here is Janácek's wonderful "Mladi" (Youth) however Samuel Barber's "Summer Music" is quite charming and also one of the important works in the Wind Quintet repertoire. Hindemith's Quintet I also like, he's one of my favorite composers although this is not one of my favorite Hindemith works. It's still very good though. Lars-Erik Larsson's "Divertimento Quattro Tempi" is delightful too, but usually I prefer his orchestral music.  

'For a wind quintet to be successful, each player must be a virtuoso soloist who also is capable of being an ensemble player. The musicians in this quintet fill that bill admirably. On this CD they play a program of 20th century favorites for five wind players–six in the case of the Janácek. The compositions are largely happy works. The opening “March” of the Hindemith is boisterous and upbeat, followed by four movements largely in the same vein. The Barber is more ruminative and romantic, along the lines of the composer’s better known works, and the Larsson, except for a somewhat chilly third movement, paints a picture of the sunnier side of Scandinavia. The Janácek, written near the end of his life, is autobiographical, a portrait of the composer’s own youth which he had recaptured in an infatuation with a younger woman. The Michael Thompson Woodwind Quintet captures every nuance in these compositions in performances that are virtually free of fault. The sound is more distant than usual for a recording of a small group, but it’s exceptionally crisp and clear without any irritating clacking of keys, an effect that often mars more close-up recordings of winds'. (review from Classics Today, I think)


Anonymous said...

Muchas gracias.

Tzadik said...

You are welcome :)