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The eminent Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet (BPWQ) has recorded a number of discs for BIS, with their latest CD here featuring three composers born in what is now the Czech Republic.
The disc opens with a wind quintet by Anton Reicha, who in the early 19th century ‘invented’ the entire genre, and closing with one of the absolute pinnacles in 20th-century chamber music for winds, namely Janáček’s Mládí (‘Youth’) from 1924.
Framed by these two is Martinů’s Sextet for piano and winds, written in Paris in 1929 and with echoes of both Bohemian music and jazz elements.
The only work in this scored for ‘regular’ wind quintet is Reicha's Quintet in E flat major alongside three rarely heard works from Reicha which use a cor anglais instead of an oboe.
A duo for piccolo and piano is also included here: Janáček’s two-minute-long March of the Bluebirds; a work based on recollections of his youth.
Antoine Reicha: Wind Quintet in E flat major, Op. 88, No. 2
I. Lento - Allegro moderato
II. Minuetto: Allegro
III. Poco andante grazioso
IV. Finale: Allegretto
Bohuslav Martinu: Sextet, H. 174
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivo (Divertimento 1)
IV. Blues (Divertimento 2)
Antoine Reicha: Andante No. 1 in E flat major
Andante No. 1 in E flat major
Antoine Reicha: Andante No. 2 in F major
Andante No. 2 in F major
Antoine Reicha: Adagio in D minor
Adagio in D minor
Leos Janacek: Pochod Modracku (March of the Bluebirds), JW VII/9
Pochod Modracku (March of the Bluebirds), JW VII/9
Leos Janacek: Mladi (Youth Suite), JW VII/10
IV. Con moto
“It will hardly come as a surprise that this is ensemble playing of the highest standard from performers of immense experience - one is seldom conscious of such trifles as chording and intonation posing even the slightest difficulty. Their individual virtuosity is no less considerable.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.