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

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

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
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


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
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