[ Supraphon / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 27 September 2019
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Following their critically acclaimed debut album (Foerster, Janáček and Haas), the Belfiato Quintet have gone back a century in time, to the "father of the wind quintet" Antonín Rejcha's life was adventurous and turbulent indeed.
When he was 10, he ran away from his Prague home, and would live in turn in Bonn, Hamburg and Vienna, before finally settling in Paris. He presented his first symphony at the tender age of 17. Rejcha became a friend of Beethoven's, who played the viola in the same orchestra, he made the acquaintance with Haydn, and his teachers included Salieri. A keen experimenter, he liked to write in quintuple time, was fascinated by Gypsy music with microintervals, playing with numbers and chords, polyrhythm, polytonality and counterpoint. Moreover, he was an accomplished theorist and a renowned teacher, also working as a professor at the Conservatoire de Paris. His students included Liszt, Berlioz, Franck and other distinguished composers. Rejcha was the first to write truly masterful wind quintets, making full use of the instruments' timbres and technical potential.
Notwithstanding its being challenging to perform, his music comes across as bright, airy and gracious. The Belfiato Quintet selected three - the most beautiful and most engrossing - of Rejcha's 24 wind quintets, which they have recorded at the acoustically exceptionable Rudolfinum hall in Prague. It would seem that the virtuoso and passionate musicians have found in Rejcha a kindred spirit. It's one hell of a ride…
"The Belfiato Quintet are excellent throughout, theirs is a more detailed and enlightening performance, one that shows this wonderful music off to its best. You get a real sense that they are enjoying playing this music, something which is not always the case with other recordings of these works, and it is for this reason that I hope they will be presented with the opportunity to record further examples of Rejcha's music." MusicWeb recommended
Wind Quintet, Op. 88 No. 2 in E flat Major [25:25]
Wind Quintet, Op. 88 No. 1 in E minor [20:50]
Wind Quintet, Op. 91 No. 3 in D Major [21:34]