Mozart String Quartets K428, 465, 387
The sincerest form of flattery. When he dedicated a set of six quartets to Haydn in 1785, Mozart was acknowledging the latter’s supremacy in this difficult genre, admitting that they had cost him ‘a long and laborious study’. But the effort was worthwhile: inspired by the older composer’s masterpieces, Mozart did more than just imitate him; he integrated Haydn’s innovations into his own style, thereby producing a new milestone of Viennese Classicism.
“They launch into every movement with tremendous relish, on such a tide of rich, deep string tone that they could be playing Brahms or Dvořák, and it comes with equally full-blooded, expressive inflections."
The Guardian - 4 September 2014
Cuarteto Casals will perform this repertoire at the Wigmore Hall on 20th & 21st September.
The arrangements of Scottish ‘national melodies’ (nearly 400 in all) are among the little-known gems of Haydn’s last years. Already an acknowledged master of the piano trio medium (as is proved by the inspired Trio Hob. XV:27 also included here), Haydn turned his accompaniments to these songs into miniature chamber music masterpieces brimming with vigor and wit. This recording featuring tenor Werner Güra offers a selection of these works that covers a wide expressive range, from tender love songs to songs rich with sarcastic folk humor.
“Their programme is skilfully assembled and delivered at uniformly high level of vocal-instrumental accomplishment…The whole enterprise gives continuous pleasure.”
Max Loppert, BBC Music Magazine - August 2014
While Dvorák’s Symphony No.6is clearly inspired by the Symphony No.2 of his friend and champion Johannes Brahms, its middle movements are more in the Slavonic tradition. The Suite Op.98b, written when Dvorák was director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, is an exotic patchwork of Amerindian and Afro-American music – with a pronounced Bohemian accent. In these superb performances by the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester led by James Gaffigan, both the charm and folkloric character of these works are clearly in evidence.
“Gaffigan's tempo in the first movement of the Symphony is on the fast side, but this imparts a strong sense of direction...Gaffigan's performance of the American Suite is as delightful as the music; melody is well to the fore with no sense of this unpretentious music being patronised.”
BBC Music Magazine, Oct 2014
Céline Moinet, Sarah Christ
Some of the most famous scenes in the Romantic opera repertoire, revisited by two outstanding soloists, in an unusual instrumental combination (oboe and harp) that is nevertheless perfectly in keeping with the opera house. Alongside the evergreen ‘Meditation’ from 'Thaïs', Céline Moinet and Sarah Christ have assembled a multitude of composers and works to produce a programme that is sheer enchantment.
“a superlative recording. Céline Moinet is clearly one of the finest oboists in the world; this disc is of such consistent musical and technical quality as to hold the attention throughout…an astonishingly successful release on all counts.”
Robert Matthew-Walker, IRR OUTSTANDING, International Record Review, July/August 2012