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Das Reicha'sche Quintett - Mengal: Complete Wind Quintets (2005)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 8-07-2018, 15:33
Das Reicha'sche Quintett - Mengal: Complete Wind Quintets (2005)
Artist: Das Reicha'sche Quintett
Title Of Album: Mengal: Complete Wind Quintets
Year Of Release: 2005
Label: New Classical Adventure
Country: Germany
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, artwork)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 01:27:36
Full Size: 330 MB


Martin Joseph Mengal (1784-1851)

CD 1
[1]-[4] Quintetto tire des oeuvres de Haydn
[5]-[8] Quintetto tire des oeuvres de Mozart

CD 2
[1]-[4] Quintetto tire des oeuvres de Beethoven
[5]-[6] Premier Quintette de Rossini

Das Reicha'sche Quintett:

Michael Schmidt-Casdorff flute
Hans-Peter Westermann oboe
Guy van Waas clarinet
Ulrich Hubner horn
Christian Beuse bassoon

Belgian-born Martin-Joseph Mengal (1784-1851) was a horn virtuoso who first studied with his father, entering the Conservatoire in Paris in 1804. He soon became principal horn with the Opera Comique and held the position for 13 years. While in Paris, Mengal, through his composition teacher Anton Reicha, made the acquaintance of the five musicians for whom Reicha composed his 23 wind quintets.

Mengal's instrumental works are few, but include three concertos for horn and a Simphonie concertante for two horns and orchestra. We have no available evidence to judge Mengal as a composer, since none of his music has been recorded. However, we do have this NCA release of his complete wind quintets, stitched together from music of other composers.

The quintets are not arrangements, but parodies (not in the comedic sense) in the ancient and honorable tradition of the parody masses and similar works from the Renaissance. Mengal has cobbled together three quintets from the chamber music of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. A summary of the source material would occupy too much space here. The Rossini--which differs from the other quintets in that it is far shorter and is made up of a single movement prefaced by a slow introduction--is based on themes from The Barber of Seville and thus falls into queue behind similar works like Frederich Beer's adaptation of Rossini's string sonatas for wind quartet and a wind quintet on themes from Donizetti's Anna Bolena by one Monsieur Gattermann.

The quintets formed by Mengal's reworking of themes of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven are cut from the same cloth as the quintets of Mengal's teacher. Each is in four movements, is of substantial length, and is written in the virtuoso tradition. Mengal uses the conventional sequence of keys within each quintet, reverting to the keys of his source material just twice

Das Reicha'sche Quintette is composed of Michael Schmidt-Casdorf, flute; Hans-Peter Westermann, oboe; Guy van Wass, clarinet; Ulrich Hubner, horn; and Christian Beuse, bassoon. It was founded in 1992 with the goal of offering the most authentic performances possible of 19th-century repertoire. The members of the group perform regularly with some of the leading period-instrument ensembles now active, including Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, Concerto Koln, and Orchestra of the 18th Century.

The performance level here is far above the mean; they are true virtuosos on their instruments, possessing a thorough knowledge of their idiosyncrasies, strengths, and weaknesses, allowing them to tackle the manifold difficulties found in Mengal's scores. The music falls pleasantly on the ear, aided by balance and intonation that are exceptional; the sound quality is clear and unimpeded by extraneous noise. In addition, one might be tempted to say that this is another of those "How to" manuals for period-instrument performance.

Mengal's skills as an arranger and the undisputed mastery of the performers make this an ideal release for the musically curious; repeated hearings are unnecessary to enjoy the music. I will never tire of hearing the sources tapped by Mengal in their original form, but I will occasionally return to this disc when I am tempted to treat myself to something fresh and decidedly different. Go for it! -- Fanfare, Michael Carter, January 2010

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