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
Founding Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

/


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)


Scherber Symphony 2
SPECIAL OFFER £10


Respighi Piano Music
SPECIAL OFFER £10


Gloria Dei Cantores
All Night Vigil


Whispering Mozart


absolutely essential release


The best recording I will hear all year


Long awaited recordings


Absolutely enthralling


Left me longing for more


A superb 90th birthday recording


A top recommendation.


Superb advocacy


Tchaikovsky Sibelius

 


Complete ballet

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907)
Sextet for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, Op. 6 (1886/1888) [27:28]
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Sextet for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, FP 100 (1932/1939) [18:26]
Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997)
L’heure du Berger for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn (1947) [7:47]
Margarita Höhenrieder (piano); Kammerharmonie der Sächsischen Staatskapelle Dresden
rec. Klosterbibliothek Polling, Germany
SOLO MUSICA SM251 [53:48]

Although his music was popular during his lifetime, Ludwig Thuille’s reputation seems to have fallen by the wayside to some extent. Having said that, labels such as Naxos seem to be heading a rehabilitation process, and the Sextet now has a couple of alternative versions on CD. He became a life-long friend of Richard Strauss, but whereas Strauss developed progressively, Thuille remained rooted in late Romanticism. His early works are dominated by larger scored chamber music, of which this Op. 6 Sextet remains one of its most popular examples. The scoring he opts for was novel at the time. Two outer fast movements bookend two slower inner ones. The more substantial first movement, with its strikingly memorable first subject, is not short of lush melody. In the lyrical Larghetto, which follows, the horn takes centre stage; its autumnal feel recalls Brahms. The third movement is a particularly delightful Gavotte, in which the bassoon is given some prominence. The work ends with an energetic and uplifting finale.

Poulenc’s humour, wit, urbanity and dilettantism, characteristic traits of Les Six, of which he was the youngest member, imbue his delightful Sextet. He had a love of wind instruments, and all but three of his thirteen chamber works feature them. In those, combining winds and strings, the latter group seems lesser profiled. The Sextet follows the three-movement slow-fast-slow template, favoured by the composer. The first movement makes its presence felt from the start, with a dramatic opening gesture. The music is extrovert, and the scoring fully exploits the instrument’s individual characters and colours. The slow movement begins with a lyrical oboe theme, with the horn offering some discreet support. To add some contrast, there’s a whimsical middle section. Geniality and good humour permeate the first half of the rondo finale. The second half is more pensive and subdued.

Françaix’s style, with its wit and irony, was very close to that of Poulenc. The three movements, which make up L'heure du Berger are titled ‘Les vieux beaux’ (The Old Dandies), ‘Pin-Up Girls’ and ‘Les petits nerveux’ (Nervous Children), and each vividly portrays these three groups in a café. It’s a glance back to the Twenties.

There are excellent contributions from all concerned, with the soloists vividly captured in the sympathetic acoustic of Klosterbibliothek Polling. This release constitutes a valuable addition to any chamber music collection.
 
Stephen Greenbank
 
Previous review: Michael Cookson

 

 




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