Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

Octet in C major
Trio op. 10 No 2 in D major
Trio concertant in E flat major

Consortium Classicum
Directed by Dieter Klocker
CPO 999 743-2 [56.26] Volume 2 of 'The Heritage of European Music'

For most music lovers the name Ignaz Pleyel will probably mean just one thing - piano manufacturer. Yet during his lifetime (1757 - 1831) Pleyel was equally well known as a composer. Indeed Mozart wrote to his father 'if you are not yet acquainted with Pleyel's new quartets - it's worth the effort. They are very well written and very pleasant. Perhaps one day Pleyel will be able to fill the place of our dear Haydn'. Initially a rival of Haydn's, Pleyel made his peace with the older composer and for several years they enjoyed a close and fruitful relationship as master and pupil.

On this reissued recording (originally made for EMI Electrola in 1974) it is clear that Haydn was a considerable influence on Pleyel, particularly in the witty Trio concertant for 2 clarinets and bassoon, which receives a superb performance here from Dieter Klocker, Waldemar Wandel and Karl Otto Hartmann. It fizzes with life from first bar to last.

Not all of the music, however, is on this level and, surprisingly, when Klocker puts down his clarinet and directs the Octet (for 2 violins, viola, 'cello, oboe, 2 horns and double bass) the temperature is considerably reduced. The work itself is perhaps somewhat at fault - high on charm but low on original or striking themes. One suspects that the recording sessions began with this work, as the first movement takes a while to warm up with occasional lapses of intonation. By the end of the movement the players have settled down and the slight backward balance of the 'cello has been corrected by the sound engineer. From then on this a good performance with a particularly fine contribution from oboist Gernot Schmalfuss, who creates the typical fruity central European oboe sound of the three post war decades, now largely superseded.

Of course these are not period instrument performances. It is easy today to believe that the dominance of original instrument groups in recordings of chamber music of this period also reflects a similarly recent expansion into the byways and side alleys of composition. But a glance at the list of composers featured in this collection from Klocker's Consortium Classicum (to be spread over 25 CDs) shows clearly that Dieter Klocker was expanding repertoire choice for chamber music lovers in an extraordinary way throughout the seventies and early eighties. Collectors of this series (of which I am sure there will be many) have the delights of Lessel, Bochsa, von Osterreich, Rissiger, Eberl, von Neukomm, Hansel, Huttenbenner, Jansa, von Leidesdorf and von Lichnowski yet to come!

The finest music on this CD is the Trio Op.10 for violin, viola and 'cello which in places comes close to Haydn in quality. The booklet notes remain silent as to why there are just two movements (Allegro and Rondo) but they make for a satisfying whole with real melodic interest to be found in the first movement. Fine analogue recording, well transferred to the silver disc.


Simon Foster



Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index