Onslow - String Quintets Vol.4: Nos. 23 & 31 | Naxos 8574187

Onslow - String Quintets Vol.4: Nos. 23 & 31


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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8574187

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 9th April 2021



Georges Onslow is best known for a body of chamber music that follows the musical lineage of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. A master of the quintet medium, Onslow offered variations of ensemble to players, the two presented here being cast for string quartet and double bass. The tempestuous Quintet no.23 in A minor is charged with almost ceaseless nervous energy and Schubertian lyricism; the mature Quintet no.31 in A major is both subtle and elegant, with a brilliant assemblage of details such as walking bass and violin-cello duets.

The Elan Quintet was formed through the coalescence of performance experience in lyric, symphonic and chamber music of its internationally recognised members. In 2015 they began a project to record the little-known string quintets of Georges Onslow (world-premiere recordings), a series which has received critical acclaim.

Vol.1 is available on 8573600. Gramophone wrote: ‘These five players make a beguiling case for this music.’ Fanfare added: ‘The performances by the Elan Quintet are outstanding – brilliant playing all around, really.’

Vol.2 (8573689) received praise from the BBC Music Magazine: ‘Receiving their world premiere recordings, the F minor String Quintet No. 10 of 1827 and the E flat major Quintet No. 22 of 1836 are lucky to have the Elan Quintet at their service… The Elan players’ sympathy for the music smiles out of every bar’, while Vol.3 (8573887) was similarly acclaimed by Fanfare: ‘This is polished, well-balanced playing that displays a fine sensitivity for the period style.’

Onslow’s Cello Sonatas are on 8572830, of which BBC Music Magazine wrote: ‘These elegantly crafted Sonatas from 1820 combine some of the thematic rigour of Beethoven with the ornate virtuosity of Weber. These are strongly committed and highly expressive performances.’

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