Hungarian cello concertos



Emma Johnson

Newest Releases


Walter Leigh
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra


British composers

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo


Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons


Verdi Requiem


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Dvorak Opera Premiere
BEST SELLER


Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas


REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Altus
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Prima voce
Red Priest
Redcliffe
Retrospective
Sheva
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb
Classical Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Joseph WOELFL (1773-1812)
String Quartet Op. 4 No. 3 in C minor [25:55]
String Quartet Op. 10 No. 4 in G [20:31]
String Quartet Op. 10 No. 1 in C [25:15]
Quatuor Mosaïques
rec. 26-30 September, 2011, Museum für Völkerkunde, Hofburg Palace (?), Vienna (?)
PALADINO MUSIC PMR 0023 [71:41]

This month in Weird Marketing: the cover of this album tells us that the musical instruments were made by Franz Geissenhof, in huge capital letters, and in much smaller letters tells us that the music is composed by Joseph Woelfl and performed by the Quatuor Mosaïques. If you are a historical instrument enthusiast and enjoy learning about such things, just wishlist the CD now: there’s a terrific booklet essay about Franz Geissenhof, his workshop, and the provenance of the four instruments used on this recording, along with how they differ from the work of Geissenhof’s competitors. There are also multiple colour photos of each.
 
If you’re more interested in the music and performances, read on. Joseph Woelfl, whose name is spelled that way even in the German essay so it must not be Wölfl, was a contemporary of Beethoven and Weber who was taught by Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn - the wrong Mozart and Haydn, one might think. Wolfgang Mozart wrote Woelfl a recommendation which landed him a job, and Woelfl became a touring piano virtuoso and composer. These string quartets are receiving their first recordings.
 
Honestly, they aren’t special. Woelfl plugged occasionally interesting or emotionally weighty tunes into the standard-issue classical forms, and his writing for the four players never becomes particularly engaging or remarkable. Unlike Beethoven, he never transcends his roots at the piano. The first quartet presented here is in C minor, and the opening theme promises a brooding emotional journey, but signs of Woelfl’s lack of imagination abound, starting with the way the second subject is introduced: not with transitional material, but simply a big pause. The C major quartet is similarly disjointed - almost downright awkward.
 
Mostly I was interested in this recording because I’m always keen to hear the Quatuor Mosaïques. They might be the world’s leading period-instrument quartet, and it’s always a pleasure to hear them. They certainly do a good job here, and the production is first-class in every particular: well-documented, well-recorded, well-played. It’s also more interesting in theory than in practice. Everything’s good but the music.
 
Brian Reinhart