Monday, 16 March 2009

Gordon Jacob, Gustav Holst & Ernst Pauer Wind Quintet Music

The British Connection Ernst Pauer (1826-1905) Quintet in F major Op. 44 (1856?) Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Quintet in A flat major Op. 14 (1903) Gordon Jacob (1895-1984) Sextet (1962) Hexagon Ensemble ETCETERA KTC1374 [61:38]

I recently reviewed these three works for MusicWeb. They were virtually new pieces to me, although I believe that I had heard the Gordon Jacob work before. I felt that “this is a fantastic CD. I must admit that I would not normally be over-enthusiastic about wind chamber music. It is just not a genre that has grabbed me. However, this disc is special: it has impressed me for three key reasons. Firstly I had never heard of the music of the composer/pianist Ernst Pauer. But his Quintet dating from 1856 is full of delights and interesting music. It is a little gem that has been waiting for a very long time before being discovered. Secondly, the Gustav Holst Wind Quintet presents a style of music that manages to balance relatively traditional late-romantic melodies with a breezy mood derived from a subtle appreciation of a somewhat bucolic landscape. It was written before the composer discovered the folk-song tradition, yet in many ways this work - large chunks of it - seems to epitomise the English Pastoral tradition. And lastly the Gordon Jacob Sextet is a fine example of a work that should be in the public domain. In fact, if it was by a German or Austrian it would most certainly be part of the repertoire. This work is an exploration of interesting harmonies and melodies that have an instant appeal without in any way being clichéd or sentimental.

Please read my full review at MusicWeb International

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