This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
When, with the expert assistance of Francois de Fossa, Boccherini reworked some of his chamber works as guitar quintets he could not have imagined that they would be played and recorded by so many guitarists in the next century, nor might he have envisaged the changes that would take place in the instruments themselves. The guitar at that time was smaller, and sweeter in sound than it is now; the bowed strings have also undergone changes in morphology and playing technique, made familiar through the periodinstrument revival. It is not disclosed whether Richard Savino is plucking gut (not nylon) strings with only the flesh of his right-hand fingertips, as period practice dictates (it does not sound as though he does) but he does use a period
instrument (c.1815-30) and, so far as I know, he is the first to do so in a recording of these works—and in the company of bowed-string players who are early-music specialists.
Thus presented, these are gentler and more intimate works than modern performances show them to be; the quartet produces enchanting sonorities—its sound has depth without thickness, and it complements and balances that of the guitar in a way that present-day instruments would be hard-put to match. The recording by Pepe Romero and the ASMF Chamber Ensemble on Philips is the best of those on modern instruments, and very well illustrates how different are the scale and sonorities to which we have become accustomed. Tempos vary but little between the two sets, except in the Fandango Quintet, where Savino and his associates press every movement much less hard, arguably to the music's benefit. We are not told whether Peter Mund, who wields the castanets in the Fandango itself, is an earlymusic specialist, but he fits in very well. All in all this is one of the most enjoyable discs of lightweight chamber music I've heard for a long time, and the clean recording adds to the pleasure.
-- Gramophone [11/1990]
reviewing the original release of these performances, HM 407026
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