Notes and Editorial Reviews
The lighter side of Beethoven. The players really enjoy themselves.
"This very apposite coupling of two of Beethoven’s early and most delightful chamber works has been reissued before. The recordings first came out in 1990 and then re-released as a budget double with the Schubert Octet in the mid-1990s. At least I think these are the same recordings, not having the earlier versions at hand...Both performances are well known and have been highly regarded in the past. To my knowledge this is the only disc currently available that couples them together. The Schubert Octet was present on their earlier incarnation as a double disc set, but did not receive the acclaim that the Beethoven did. Thus, it was a good idea to re-release them again as a single...this CD is for anyone who either does not know or have these examples of the lighter side of Beethoven. They represent some of his most tuneful and pleasant music, showing the influences of Mozart (especially the wind serenades) and Haydn and yet containing the unmistakable stamp of the Beethoven to come. The Nash Ensemble’s performances leave nothing to be desired. They are impeccable in their tuning, and the tempos are spot-on. The players obviously relish this music and sound like they are really enjoying themselves. There is plenty of competition out there for these works, but the Nash really can hold their own. I compared this recording of the Septet with the more recent one by Gil Shaham, Truls Mørk, et al on Arte Nova (coupled with the Beethoven Triple Concerto) and find them about equal in merit. However, it could be argued that the Nash has the more appropriate coupling, and theirs is the more vibrant sounding recording.
I, therefore, welcome back these performances."
-- Leslie Wright, MusicWeb International
Reviewing re-issue of this recording.