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

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

 


tenor and baritone


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
A very fine achievement


Complete ballet


Orchestral Music


music that will please greatly


Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear


vital imagination


Henrik HELLSTENIUS
A harum-scarum springboard


Always expect the unexpected

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
C.F.E. HORNEMAN (1840-1906)
String Quartet No. 1 in G minor [25:02]
String Quartet No. 2 in D major [21:37]
Asger HAMERIK (1843-1923)
Quartetto [6:16]
Arild Quartet
rec. 6-9 June 2011, Takkelloftet, Operaen, Copenhagen
DACAPO 8.226097 [52:55] 

Here’s an interesting disc of Danish string quartets from around the year 1860. They don’t really sound ethnically Danish, imprinted as they are by German teachers. C.F.E. Horneman, composer of almost all this music, wrote his first of two quartets while a student in Leipzig, and the other one a year after returning home.
 
The Horneman quartets bear fingerprints of Mendelssohn, Beethoven and maybe Grieg. The second quartet, especially, feels like a traditional Germanic quartet sped up to a refreshing pace and filled with quick, memorable little melodic ideas. The pieces are compact in structure and aim to divert rather than to be profound. The only real dead spot in either is the slow movement of the first, which I found a little dry and blandly German. Horneman did study at Mendelssohn’s music academy, even training with violinist Ferdinand David, who premiered the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
 
Horneman had a cousin, Asger Hamerik, who became a rather more distinctive composer during his maturity, and seems to have already been a more distinctive one at the age of sixteen. Hamerik spent several decades heading up one of the first and foremost music schools in the United States, Baltimore’s Peabody Institute. Famous alumni, including the preparatory school for youth: Philip Glass, Hilary Hahn, André Watts. Hamerik’s little Quartetto, a teenage piece that lasts just six minutes, begins with a striking idea and gets a lot of work done in its tiny frame, although the more lyrical secondary material is second-rate and the loudest moments return a jarring amount of reverb in the sound-space.
 
The Arild Quartet, making their debut here, sound like very good players, whom Dacapo should be glad to have on the team. Aside from the aforementioned reverb, there is little to complain about from the sound, and the booklet essay on Horneman and Hamerik is a model for the industry. The playing time is 53 minutes, but these two composers didn’t oblige us with more quartets, after all. A pity, especially, that Hamerik did not return to the medium in his maturity.
 
Brian Reinhart 

See also review by Byzantion