One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Guillaume LEKEU


Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Franz KROMMER (1759-1831)
Flute Quartet in D, Op. 93 (1819) [21:36]
Flute Quartet in C, Op. 90 (1820) [26:30]
Flute Quartet in G, Op. 92 (1816?) [26:04]
Andreas Blau (flute)
Christoph Streuli (violin)
Ulrich Knörzer (viola)
David Riniker (cello)
rec. Philharmonie, Berlin, December 2014, January-February 2015
TUDOR 7199 [74:26]

Composers of the Classical period apparently found the combination of flute with string trio attractive. The best known of these "flute quartets" are the four attributed to Mozart -- at least one of which may actually be by him -- but I've also previously reviewed the Opus 4 set by Ernst Eichner (ACCENT ACC 24183), and I know of others. This combination of instruments seems to have drawn out these composers' lighter, more cheerful side.

That this should also be true of Franz Krommer's D major quartet is hardly a surprise, given the consistently sunny mood of this transplanted Bohemian's output. The firm, assertive string phrases at the start are Classically severe, but the flute's response immediately lightens the atmosphere. Questioning minor-key phrases crop up here and there, never for long enough to disturb the overall cheerful demeanour. The Adagio is broad and serene; in the coda, the theme feints briefly toward the subdominant before resolving. The Minuetto, with more running figures for the flute, feels more like a scherzo, balanced by a spacious-sounding Trio in the same tempo. The final Presto, a tarantella, is simply delightful.

The other two quartets are both more elaborately wrought and more emotionally diverse. At the start of the C major, the flute spins liquid runs over string chords; then the music, while maintaining tempo, becomes more uneasy. The exposition cadences solidly in the major, but the development immediately shifts into a mysterious minor. The Minuetto is sprightly and playful. The Adagio cantabile sounds rather quick for the flute's decorated lines, but the tempo makes sense later, at the arrival of the little string outbursts. The finale is pleasantly active.

Peter Keller's program note describes the G major quartet as "the most individual of the three works." The opening theme-group already veers into the minor, turning the initial propulsion to agitation, while the second theme, sprouting from the same melodic germ, can't quite settle into either mode. The Adagio, searching in mood, is flowing in tempo while suggesting breadth. The Minuetto is easygoing, though with a Beethovenian forward drive; its minor-key Trio is somewhat extended. The finale, alas, is a letdown, though the execution is partly to blame. The manner at the start is too laid-back; the playing generally needs more rhythmic point, as well as a better balance among the three strings. It all comes to feel like empty note-spinning.

Featured flutist Andreas Blau displays a dextrous technique in Krommer's running passages, which he inflects with an unobtrusive rubato that subtly clarifies their sense of direction, and brings poised breath control to the broad, lyrical melodies. Unlike some other flautists I've recently heard (and reviewed), he avoids conspicuous overblowing above the staff, so the tone quality never becomes unpleasant. My only cavil is that, in the movements he launches solo - the Minuetto of the D major and the finale of the C major - the scansion isn't immediately clear: we don't get our rhythmic footing until the strings come in.

I've expressed my reservations about the strings in Opus 92; some of their chording in Opus 90 is a bit loose, as well. In the simpler Opus 93, however, the players provide strongly grounded, full-bodied chording.

The sound is vivid, though there could have been a few seconds' longer pause between the first two movements of the D major.

Stephen Francis Vasta

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger