Notes and Editorial Reviews
REICHA Wind Quintet in a, op. 91/2. Andantes: in F; in E?. Adagio in d • Reicha’sche Qnt • NCA 60226 (59:35)
"The notes don’t tell us whether the Reicha’sche Quintet is planning a complete traversal of the Reicha quintets; seeing as it has already covered all of Franz Danzi’s, it would not surprise me, and it would be the first such offering on period instruments. This recording is from 1996, so it is hard to say what might be lurking in the vaults. As far as I know, only the Michael Thompson, Westwood, and Albert Schweitzer quintets have brought us complete sets, each with pluses and minuses attached to them, the Westwood the only one using a brand-new critical edition, though they have drawn some fire because of their
refusal to take Reicha’s metronome markings literally, something the Reicha’sche Quintet is insistent on: “The tempi in the fast movements are often very sprightly and testify to the extraordinary technical prowess of the first performers of these quintets.” That argument is not going to subside anytime soon, surely, and so this new series—if that is what is is—will be most welcome.
Generally I like these performances, though there are some places where the flute seems a little grating, the lackluster tonal qualities showing in a very raw manner. Then again, it shows you what Reicha was dealing with when he created these works. Each piece here hails from around 1818, a good year for the composer, who had just gotten married (at age 48) and was appointed professor of fugue and counterpoint at the Paris Conservatory. The quintet especially is one of the best, though they are all good, despite some critical carping. (MusicWeb International made a statement that “no one but a complete Reichaholic, surely, will want to hear them all.” Rubbish. These are cornerstones of the woodwind repertoire, fantastic pieces each and every one, and no true Serious Record Collector can afford to be without all of them.)"
FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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