This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Kuhlau must be known to music-lovers, if at all for his elementary sonatinas on which many a young pianist has cut his teeth, or perhaps for one of Beethoven's heavier puns. In reply to a canon on the notes B-A-C-H which Kuhlau had written Beethoven (on his own admission, flushed with champagne) wrote another on the same notes to the words ''Kuhl, nicht lau'' (''cool not tepid''). Kuhlau was a fine pianist, and had championed Beethoven's music; the two men seem to have got on well. Kuhlau's own music is really much what one might expect from a skilled, talented musician who was an exact contemporary of Weber, a student of C. P. E. Bach and an admirer of Beethoven.
The flute quintets recorded here are most agreeable music,
with a pleasant lyricism and a certain driving energy in some of the sonata movements that, if scarcely approaching Beethoven or Haydn, has its own character and style. Kuhlau died in his early forties in 1832, from the after effects of a fire, by when he had settled in Denmark and made a substantial contribution to Danish musical life. Carsten Hatting, in Grove, singles out these Op. 51 Flute Quintets as among Kuhlau's finest compositions: they are certainly well worth the careful attention they receive from Rampal and the Juilliard Quartet, and from the quick-eared engineers.
-- John Warrack, Gramophone [9/1988]
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