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Wiener Oktett: The Decca Recordings | Australian Eloquence ELQ4842220

Wiener Oktett: The Decca Recordings

£118.25

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Label: Australian Eloquence

Cat No: ELQ4842220

Barcode: 0028948422203

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 27

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 26th January 2024

Contents

Works

Badings, Henk

Octet

Baermann, Heinrich

Adagio in D flat major for Clarinet and Strings, 'Wagner's Adagio'

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Quintet for piano and wind, op.16
Septet in E flat major, op.20
Sextet in E flat major, op.81b
String Quintet in C major, op.29

Berwald, Franz

Grand Septet in B flat major

Borodin, Alexander

Piano Quintet in C minor

Brahms, Johannes

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op.115

Britten, Benjamin

Sinfonietta, op.1

Dvorak, Antonin

String Quartet no.10 in E flat major, op.51 B92
String Quintet in E flat major, op.97 B180 'American'
String Quintet no.2 in G major, op.77 B49
String Sextet in A major, op.48 B80

Haydn, Michael

Divertimento in G major

Hindemith, Paul

Octet

Kreutzer, Conradin

Grand Septet in E flat major, op.62

Mendelssohn, Felix

Octet in E flat major, op.20
Piano Sextet in D major, op.110

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Cassation in B flat major, K99
Clarinet Quintet in A major, K581
Clarinet Trio in E flat major, K498 'Kegelstatt Trio'
Divertimento in D major, K136 'Salzburg Symphony no.1'
Divertimento in D major, K205
Divertimento no.1 in E flat major, K113
Divertimento no.10 in F major, K247
Divertimento no.15 in B flat major, K287
Divertimento no.17 in D major, K334
March for orchestra in D major, K290
Quintet in E flat major for piano and winds, K452

Poot, Marcel

Octet

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai

Quintet in B flat major for piano and wind

Schubert, Franz

Octet in F major, D803
Piano Quintet in A major, D667 'The Trout' (Die Forelle)

Spohr, Louis

Double Quartet no.3 in E minor, op.87
Nonet in F major, op.31
Octet in E major, op.32
Piano Quintet in D major, op.130

Wellesz, Egon

Octet, op.67 (1948)

Artists

Wiener Oktett
Clifford Curzon (piano)
Walter Panhofer (piano)
Boskovsky Quartet

Works

Badings, Henk

Octet

Baermann, Heinrich

Adagio in D flat major for Clarinet and Strings, 'Wagner's Adagio'

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Quintet for piano and wind, op.16
Septet in E flat major, op.20
Sextet in E flat major, op.81b
String Quintet in C major, op.29

Berwald, Franz

Grand Septet in B flat major

Borodin, Alexander

Piano Quintet in C minor

Brahms, Johannes

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op.115

Britten, Benjamin

Sinfonietta, op.1

Dvorak, Antonin

String Quartet no.10 in E flat major, op.51 B92
String Quintet in E flat major, op.97 B180 'American'
String Quintet no.2 in G major, op.77 B49
String Sextet in A major, op.48 B80

Haydn, Michael

Divertimento in G major

Hindemith, Paul

Octet

Kreutzer, Conradin

Grand Septet in E flat major, op.62

Mendelssohn, Felix

Octet in E flat major, op.20
Piano Sextet in D major, op.110

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Cassation in B flat major, K99
Clarinet Quintet in A major, K581
Clarinet Trio in E flat major, K498 'Kegelstatt Trio'
Divertimento in D major, K136 'Salzburg Symphony no.1'
Divertimento in D major, K205
Divertimento no.1 in E flat major, K113
Divertimento no.10 in F major, K247
Divertimento no.15 in B flat major, K287
Divertimento no.17 in D major, K334
March for orchestra in D major, K290
Quintet in E flat major for piano and winds, K452

Poot, Marcel

Octet

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai

Quintet in B flat major for piano and wind

Schubert, Franz

Octet in F major, D803
Piano Quintet in A major, D667 'The Trout' (Die Forelle)

Spohr, Louis

Double Quartet no.3 in E minor, op.87
Nonet in F major, op.31
Octet in E major, op.32
Piano Quintet in D major, op.130

Wellesz, Egon

Octet, op.67 (1948)

Artists

Wiener Oktett
Clifford Curzon (piano)
Walter Panhofer (piano)
Boskovsky Quartet

About

*** Limited Edition ***

The sweet, silvery tone of the Wiener Oktett and the easy give-and-go of its phrasing helped establish it as one of the most distinguished of Viennese chamber ensembles. Its sound was that of the sublime Vienna Philharmonic in microcosm and the group enjoyed the advantage of Decca’s top-of-the-range engineering. The most comprehensive collection of the Vienna Octet's albums ever issued, this set chronicles 25 years of recording, from shellac (July 1948) to stereo (November 1972).

Decca signed an exclusive contract with the Wiener Oktett (Vienna Octet) in the summer of 1948 as a commercially motivated move: a sweetener to the deal that also poached the Philharmonic Orchestra from EMI. The ensemble had been formed only a year or so previously around the Boskovsky brothers, violinist Willi and clarinetist Alfred. Soon enough, audiences at home as well as in concert were enjoying the sound of a quintessentially Viennese ensemble, its members drawn from the ranks of the Philharmonic, in Classical-era music that could have been written for them, starting with the Septet by Beethoven and the Octet by Schubert.

The sweet, silvery tone of the Octet and the easy give-and-go of its phrasing established the Octet as the latest in a line of distinguished Viennese chamber ensembles, from the Rosé Quartet of Mahler’s era to the Barylli Quartet documented by the Westminster label. The Vienna Octet enjoyed the advantage of Decca’s top-of-the-range engineering, and they continued to set down classic interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert through the course of the 1950s, for the new LP format and then for stereo.

In 1956 their Decca albums began to reflect the diversity of their concert programmes, with the Octet written for them by the Belgian composer Marcel Poot. While they continued to enjoy free-spirited partnerships on record with the likes of Clifford Curzon and the Viennese pianist Walter Panhofer in Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, they also recorded lesser-known Romantics such as Spohr, Kreutzer and Berwald, and modern repertoire by Britten, Hindemith and Egon Wellesz.

By the time of the Vienna Octet’s final recording in November 1972, only two members of its original lineup were left, including clarinettist Alfred Boskovsky, but critics and record buyers had continued to recognise that, especially in the central repertoire, an unselfconscious authenticity set the ensemble apart from its rivals.

“The modern Troyers and Schuppanzighs on Decca AK 2060-65 are a group who call themselves the Vienna Octet; and they bear the title with grace.” – Musical Times, February 1949 (Schubert: Octet, 1948 recording)

“The Grand Septet is quite a find, for its most important movements, the first and last, are excellent within their sphere of discreet style and modest inspiration... Seven members of the Vienna Octet give a performance that would have been worth recording for its own sake.” – Musical Times, January 1952 (Kreutzer, 1951 recording)

“A superlative performance, and the recording is in every way worthy of them.”
– The Times, July 1953 (Spohr: Nonet)

“A wholly delightful recording.” – Musical Times, January 1959 (Schubert: Piano Quintet, 1957 recording)

“It is perfectly played... with slightly more alertness than in the 1955 version by the same group.” – The Times, July 1959 (Schubert: Octet, 1958 recording)

“The players of the Vienna Octet as usual turn in an excellent performance.” – High Fidelity, December 1965 (Mozart, Divertimento K205, Cassation K99)

“Technically a masterpiece, musically absorbing; superficial, no doubt, but enjoyable in its way - especially in this excellent performance. All members of the Vienna Octet on this record play with distinction.” – Musical Times, June 1968 (Spohr: Nonet, Double Quartet)

“The performances are engagingly fresh, with Walter Panhofer a restrained protagonist at the keyboard and the strings clearly relishing the relaxed warmth of the music.” – Musical Times, July 1970 (Mendelssohn/Borodin)

“Performances by members of the Vienna Octet are in the front rank. Particularly in the Kreutzer, they seem to sense every tiny nuance to perfection. The crystal-clear recording has a natural perspective and an excellent balance. Strongly recommended.” – Musical Times, November 1970 (Kreutzer, 1968 recording)

“Warm-hearted, beautifully recorded performances… surely one of the best buys in the chamber music discography.” – High Fidelity, January 1974 (Dvořák: String Quintet Op. 97, Sextet Op. 48)

“Performances throughout are magnificent. If those eight members of the Vienna Philharmonic did nothing but play the C major scale for thirty minutes, it would be worth the hearing. Recordings are first-class, too.” – High Fidelity, March 1975 (Wellesz/Badings)

“Wonderfully idiomatic, (just smell the Austrian lakeside air in the lyrical clarinet melody of the relaxed Andante con moto fourth movement), this reading also captures the work’s ineffable sadness.” – Tempo, July 2011 (Wellesz)

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