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Antonin Rejcha: Octet op. 96, Variations for Bassoon and String Quartet, "Grand Quintetto" for French Horn and String Quartet.

Antonin Rejcha

Octet op. 96, Variations for Bassoon and String Quartet, "Grand Quintetto" for French Horn and String Quartet

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The Czech Nonet (Romana Zieglerova--violin Vladimir Kroupa--viola, Simona Hecova--cello, Radovan Hec--double bass, Jiri Skuhra--flute, Aleg Hustoles --clarinet, Vladislav Borovka oboe, Pavel Langpaul--bassoon, Vladimira Klanska--French horn).

Text: Eng., Fr., Ger. Recorded: Apr. 2007, Studio Domovina, Prague. Released: 2008. TT: 70:44. DDD. 1 CD Praga Digitals PRD/DSD 250 244 (distribution Classic).

It is no accident that the Prague-born Antonin Rejcha (1770-1836), a protege of Joseph Haydn and friend of Ludwig van Beethoven, should be one of the great figures of Czech music of the earlier 19th century. The inexorable filter of history has tested the quality of his music many times. He was rooted in Classicism, but responded with enthusiasm to the early phase of Romanticism, although its influences were reflected in his music unobtrusively and are most audible in the field of harmony, rhythm and metre. His enchanting chromaticisms are to be found for example on this album from the Czech Nonet. This marvellous ensemble--a great export article of Czech music--was founded in 1924 (!) and a succession of top musicians have passed through it. The current members of Nonet fully live up to the reputation of their predecessors. The musicians have a chance to show their widest range of expression in the Octet of 1807. Their homogeneity of tone, balance instrumental virtuosity and painstaking choice of tempos is admirable. (Bringing the violinist Romana Zieglerova, in to perform with the ensemble was a very happy decision) The bassoon Variations (around 1818) and the horn Quintet (around 825) are fine pieces with imaginatively effective passages, but are rather overshadowed. The recording also has an excellent technical standard (direction: Jaroslav Rybfar).

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Author:Stehlik, Lubos
Publication:Czech Music
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:290
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