Various Artists – Naxos, BEETHOVEN: Chamber Music for Horns, Winds and Strings

Anastasia Tsioulcas

By Anastasia Tsioulcas

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

At the heart of this recording lies Beethoven's Septet, written in 1800. Although the composer himself is known to eventually have disliked this piece intensely, it became quite popular in his time — and the reason why is amply demonstrated on this appealing album, which also includes the E-flat Major Sextet, written 1794-95, and the E-flat Major Quintet, completed in 1796 or 1797. Taken together, these three selections chronicle Beethoven's fascination with writing for horn and for winds during this period.

Lithe dexterity, great warmth and congenial intimacy — a loving rendition of true masterpieces

The lithe dexterity, great warmth and congenial intimacy these Hungarian players bring to this music are just delightful, and one couldn't ask for a better balance between the instruments. (Additionally, the clear and bright tone with which both Kevehazis and oboist Otto Racz play is most welcome.) While some might wish for a more extroverted approach to these three works, these musicians 'elegant readings, such as in the Septet's theme and variations movement and in the Quintet's brief Rondo, have a magnetism all their own.