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Weber: Piano Quartet, etc / Gaudier Ensemble

Album Summary

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B flat major, J 182/Op. 34
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Trio for flute, cello & piano in G minor, J. 259 (Op. 63)
>Weber, Carl Maria von : Quartet for Piano and Strings in B flat major ("Grand Quatuor"), J. 76
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This new recital brings together all of Weber's chamber works to employ more than two musicians. The Gaudier Ensemble is among the foremost of chamber ensembles, and these latest performances are every bit as thrilling as their enviable reputation would lead one to expect.

'The talented members of the pan-European Gaudier Ensemble are perfectly equipped to convey these different aspects of Weber's musical personality ... With a top-quality recording, this is a disc which does full and thoroughly entertaining justice to a still underrated master' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Gaudier's performances are thoroughly enjoyable: gracefully shaped, rhythmically exuberant and relishing the music's sense of fun. In the Clarinet Quintet, Richard Hosford negotiates his pirouettes and vertiginous leaps with aplomb. The tricky instrumental balances in the trio and quartet are expertly managed, while pianist Susan Tomes's scintillating fingerwork is a delight throughout' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Richard Hosford is the ideal soloist here, supple and silky, with beautiful tone: and his intensely delicate, only-just-audible pianissimi in the slow movement are a joy to hear ... the work altogether is a little masterpiece which deserves to be much better known. Hopefully this excellent disc, so beautifully played and recorded, will do much to disseminate it' (International Record Review)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Weber's three pieces of chamber music make an attractive record, and the performances here are responsive to the works' particular problems. With the early Piano Quartet, the young virtuoso set himself some tricky tests, especially in the matter of balance. In the complicated middle section of the Adagio, for instance, there are leaping violin phrases, forte, against soft piano chords with a viola murmuring away to itself pianissimo in the middle.

It works well here. In Susan Tomes's hands, the Trio of the Minuet has a nice waltzing lilt and the finale blazes with energy. The players are willing to take liberties: though there is no warrant for the long accelerando in the finale of the Piano Trio, it is not the kind of thing Weber would have objected to, and both the pensive opening and the brooding melancholy of the 'Shepherd's Lament' are very much in the right spirit.

Richard Hosford is excellent in the Clarinet Quintet and is given a nice, clean acoustic for all the brilliant effects. There is, however, an oddity in the Adagio with the pairs of chromatic scales: the first, 'as loud as possible', is fine, but the second, pianissimo, is so quiet as to be barely audible, sounding as if it is drawn right away from the microphone. Hosford rounds it all off sensationally in the dazzling final pages. The only regret is that the players use the version, or something near it, prepared by the son of Weber's first performer, Heinrich Baermann.

Carl Baermann claimed that this was the performing tradition but the evidence is insecure, and there is a good modern edition that comes closer to what must have been Weber's intentions. All the same, a very enjoyable disc.



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Works Details

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B flat major, J 182/Op. 34
  • Performers: Marieke Blankestijn (Violin); Lesley Hatfield (Violin); Richard Hosford (Clarinet); Iris Juda (Viola); Christoph Marks (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Gaudier Ensemble
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (02/27/2004-02/29/2004)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1811-1815

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Trio for flute, cello & piano in G minor, J. 259 (Op. 63)
  • Performers: Christoph Marks (Cello); Jaime Martín (Flute); Susan Tomes (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Gaudier Ensemble
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (02/27/2004-02/29/2004)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1818-1819

>Weber, Carl Maria von : Quartet for Piano and Strings in B flat major ("Grand Quatuor"), J. 76
  • Performers: Marieke Blankestijn (Violin); Iris Juda (Viola); Christoph Marks (Cello); Susan Tomes (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Gaudier Ensemble
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (02/27/2004-02/29/2004)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1806-1809