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Mozart - Beethoven Wind Quintets

Embrace in E flat

Two quintets for piano and winds. Two important compositions by two important creators, both ousted from the preeminent position to which they are entitled by virtue of their quality and inspiration, due essentially to their now disused instrumental format and to the central role that concert halls have for many decades reserved for the symphonic repertoire and the universe of the recital... Show more

Program

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Quintet in E flat major for Piano and Winds K452.
- Largo – Allegro moderado.
- Larghetto.
- Allegretto.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827))

Quintet in E flat major for Piano and Winds Op16.
- Grave – Allegro ma non troppo.
- Andante Cantabile.
- Rondo. Allegro, ma non troppo.

Harmonie du soir, ensemble: Enrique Bernaldo de Quirós, piano. Carlos Fortea Balaguer, oboe. Silvia Insa Llopis, clarinet. José Vicente Tatay Llusar, bassoon. José Francisco Fortea Balaguer, french horn.

Truthful Recording Technology v3.2. Musicstry Studios. Madrid. Spain. Recorded: June 9, 10 2017. Released: March 1 2018. Photo: Daniel Mellado. Liner notes: Justo Romero. Producer: Mario Martínez. PC17007 ℗ & © 2018 PlayClassics.

Embrace in E flat

Two quintets for piano and winds. Two important compositions by two important creators, both ousted from the preeminent position to which they are entitled by virtue of their quality and inspiration, due essentially to their now disused instrumental format and to the central role that concert halls have for many decades reserved for the symphonic repertoire and the universe of the recital. In equal measure, these are two masterpieces in the judgement of the composers themselves: Mozart was in no way mistaken, when, in a letter sent to his father Leopold on 10 April 1784, he said of the Quintet for piano and winds which he had just finished, “It’s the best work I’ve ever written”.

Neither did Beethoven err on subtly embracing Mozart, the brilliant composer of Don Giovanni, in the central Andante cantabile of his only Quintet for piano and winds, where the German, who was born only fourteen years after the Salzburger, brings us to hear and feel the song of the beautiful Zerlina in her famous “Batti, batti o bel Masetto”. In every possible sense, this recording brings together two works which are, not only the most symbolic of the repertoire for piano and winds, but are also two compositions that form part of the very cream of the universal chamber music heritage.

Both works written in E flat, a key in consonance with the instrumental nature of wind instruments, the joint protagonists, in tandem with the piano, of these two sublime instances of their genre. Mozart concluded the quintet in Vienna on 30 March 1784, and only two days later gave it its début, performed in what was tantamount to a first reading!, at the Burgtheater in the Austrian capital. Mozart was 27 at the time but had for some time -almost since birth!- been a consummate maestro, steeped in the ways of the keyboard and the singular characteristics of the four wind instruments that complete the ensemble.

Beethoven was also a veteran in his twenties when, at the age of 26, he brought out his Quintet, which, like that of Mozart, was also premiered in Vienna, on 6 April 1797, scarcely thirteen years after Mozart’s …and with the same piano! The parallelism between the two is patent, and is also evident in the way both are divided into three movements, with the common preamble of a slow introduction. Even so, and despite the almost identical age of their respective composers when they created these works, Mozart’s Quintet displays a maturity and more developed evolution in its composer’s catalogue than does Beethoven’s, whose opus 16 indisputably places it in his first creative period, when the influence of Mozart, and of classicism in general, is still evident, notwithstanding the fleeting flashes and features of the revolutionary groundbreaker who would soon impose romanticism and a new way of being, feeling, and living music.

It is not in many of Mozart’s works that the future (Beethoven!) is so clearly discernible as it is in his Quintet for piano and winds, chronologically and stylistically close to Piano Concertos Nos. 16 and 17. Music of great refinement, whose courtly veneer in no way implies superficiality or flippancy; and imposed upon this -and even on the unquestionable flavour of the best Mozart- is the balance, sense of colour and meticulous instrumental knowledge that is glimpsed with each passing moment. From the first chords of the solemn opening Largo, one feels the perfection and richness of the thematic ideas that infuse and nourish the quintet. Shining forth all through the first movement, in the unmistakeable form of a sonata, is this dazzling fertility, with successive leading interventions by the various instruments.

The central Larghetto is characteristic of the hypnotic, slow Mozartian movements. One is fascinated by the inspiration, the pure melodic quality, the beauty of its phrasing and how this is combined, distributed and commingled among the different instruments. One is also seduced by the prodigious and unified mosaic of tonal colours and registers, its natural and perfectly harmonised flow, as if this were some delicate nocturnal serenade, equal in every respect to that sung by Don Giovanni under Doña Elvira’s balcony. All this goes to rank this passage among his finest and best finished slow movements. The final Allegretto is a rondo whose simple refrain is introduced by the piano from the very first bar. It is a characteristic concerto finale tinged with fascinating modulations to the relative key of C minor, which even includes a characteristic and well-worked cadence that precedes the foreseeable and brilliant coda.

Beethoven’s Quintet is indebted to Mozart’s and is a clear homage to its composer, whose presence is not felt solely in the above-described allusion in the second movement. Furthermore, Beethoven’s embrace of Mozart is reflected even in the actual structure of the quintet, which faithfully follows Mozart’s, down to the detail of the solemn introduction to the first movement and the characteristic division into three movements, with a light-hearted finale in the form of a rondo. This is a Beethoven who still sees a kindred spirit in Mozart, but whose revolution is already as imminent as it is inexorable. Years afterwards, in around 1810, Beethoven was to make a transcription for a piano and string quartet (violin, viola and cello), in which the keyboard part remained intact.

The most advanced movement, the most essentially Beethovenian of the entire quintet, is the initial Allegro ma non troppo. Bursting forth, after the melodious and grave introduction, comes the affirmative, categorical, almost imperious sense of the imminent Beethoven, even more palpable in the forceful treatment of the piano, which announces the principal motif and recurrently assumes the role of a genuine soloist. A “zerlinesque” sensuality envelops the lyrical and effusive staves of the central Andante cantabile, whereas in the extroverted final rondo, in 6/8 time and inaugurated by the solo piano, the wind instruments converse with the piano and engage in an animated to-and-fro through a colourful passage of enormous vivacity and effervescence. Mozart, his accents, rhythms and cantabile quality, harmoniously coexist in this finale with an already unequivocally Beethovenian flavour.

Justo Romero

Harmonie du soir, ensemble.

Wind quintet formed by Enrique Bernaldo de Quirós (piano), Carlos Fortea Balaguer (oboe), Silvia Insa Llopis (clarinet), José Vicente Tatay Llusar (bassoon) y José Francisco Fortea Balaguer (french horn).

Enrique Bernaldo de Quirós, piano.

Heir to a great Russian pianistic tradition via his teacher and mentor, Galina Eguiazarova (who studied directly under A. Goldenweiser, father of the modern Russian piano school), Quirós is one of the most accomplished and best internationally known pianists of his generation. His versatility and deep erudition have allowed him to take on successfully all the styles thanks to his vast repertoire.

His brilliant list of achievements includes over forty prizes won in international piano competitions. The prestigious 2007 Cidade do Porto and 2012 UNISA (Pretoria, South Africa) prizes rank him in the select group of Spanish pianists to win awards in events held under the auspices of the Geneva­ based World Federation of International Music Competitions.

Quirós has been widely hailed as an exceptional performer of Spanish music, a field in which he has received invaluable tutoring and advice from Alicia de Larrocha, Antón García Abril, Albert Attenelle and Joaquín Achúcarro.

Born in 1981 in Moscow, where he began his musical studies at the age of five, he gave his first public performance when he was eleven at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory Chamber Music Hall. However, he received the bulk of his training in Madrid, at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Reina Sofía School of Music, where he received various honorary diplomas at the hands of H.M. Queen Sofía.

Performing commitments routinely take him to Germany, Russia, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Serbia, North Africa, South Africa and the Near East, as well as to leading Spanish venues. In June 2008, he made his debut appearance at the Great Hall of Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory, one of the world's landmark concert venues, a performance that was met by resounding acclaim from the public and critics alike.

As a soloist, he has played under the baton of conductors of the calibre of Tamás Vásáry, Salvador Brotons, José Ramón Encinar, Stuart Stratford, José Luis Gómez Ríos, Guerássim Voronkóv, Ovidiu Balan and Joji Hattori.

He currently holds the post of Professor at the Balearic Isles Senior Music Conservatory.

Official Website

Carlos Fortea Balaguer, oboe.

Born in Benaguasil, Valencia, 1982. He began his musical studies with Vicente Sanchis and Luís Calaforra in C.I.C.U.M. Of Benaguasil.

He continued his training with Vicente Llimerá at the Joaquín Rodrigo Conservatory in Valencia and finished his career at the Superior Conservatory of Castellón with the highest marks and honorable mention at the end of his studies.

In the academic year 2002-2003, he joined the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia, with the oboe Professor Hansjörg Schellenberg. Enjoying the Colebega tuition scholarship and residence scholarship of the Albéniz Foundation.

As student of the school was member of the Freixenet Chamber Orchestra directed by A. Ros Marbá, J. Luís García Asensio, H. Schellenberger. He has also participated in masterclasses of Ingo Goritzki, Gordon Hunt, Dominic Wollenweber, Alex Klein, Lothar Koch, Antonio Faus and Emmanuel Abbul.

He has collaborated with the National Orchestra of Spain, Orchestra of Cordoba, Orchestra of Extremadura, Grup Instrumental of Valencia.

He has also collaborated with conductors such as Antoni Ros Marbá, Enrique García Asensio, Jesús López Cobos y Victor Pablo Pérez.

He is a member of the "Luis Vives" wind quintet finalist of the 2011 "Henri Tomasi" International Competition in Marselle.

Since the year 2006, he is soloist and English horn of the Balearic Symphony Orchestra Ciutat de Palma.

Silvia Insa Llopis, clarinet.

Born in 1977 in Cocentaina (Alicante). She began her studies in Music in her town, and subsequently with Professor Francisco Florido in Alicante, at the Óscar Esplà High Conservatoire, where she obtained the top marks and the Extraordinary Final-Year Award in Clarinet and Chamber Music. She broadened her studies in Valencia with professors Joan Enric Lluna and Josep Vicent Herrera, in Barcelona with Professor Josep Fuster, and in Salzburg with Professor Alfred Prinz.

She has been part of various chamber ensembles, with which she has performed several concerts throughout Spain. She has also been a member of the Youth Orchestra of Generalitat Valenciana (JORVAL) and of the Horta Nord Symphonic Orchestra (Valencia), as well as fellow contributor to the National Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE).

Among the awards she received we must highlight: First Prize in the V Concurs Nacional de Joves Intèrprets Ciutat de Xàtiva (2001), First Prize in the IV Concurso de Intérpretes Solistas de Villar del Arzobispo (1999), Second Prize in the I Concurs Nacional Ciutat de Xàtiva (1997), Premi Euterpe de la Música 2002, as well as the Second Prize in the Concurso Permanente de Juventudes Musicales de España (1999). She received a scholarship from Caixa de Catalunya to attend the Torroella de Montgrí International Courses (Girona), and therefore she performed in that town’s International Music Festival.

She has performed contributions to the National Symphonic Orchestra of Catalonia and Barcelona (OBC), to the Comunitat Valenciana Orchestra (Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia) and the Portaferrada-Peralada Sinfonietta (Peralada Festival Orchestra). Since 2000 she is soloist clarinettist assistant and bass clarinettist in the Balearic Islands Symphonic Orchestra and also member of Lluís Vives Wind Quintet.

José Vicente Tatay Llusar, bassoon.

Born in 1974 in Cabanyal (Valencia). He began his studies in Music in his town, and subsequently with Professor José Enguídanos in Valencia, at the Joaquín Rodrigo High Conservatoire. He broadened his studies in Madrid with professors Enrique Abargues and München with professor Marco Postinghel.

He was a bassoon teacher at the High Conservatoire of Palma de Mallorca and the Professional Conservatoire of Mallorca.

He is also an enthusiastic and committed chamber musician who collaborates with different formations like Quintet Lluís Vives, Ensemble 1595 and Harmonie du soir.

Among the awards he received we must highlight: First Prize in the Concurs Art Jove in Palma de Mallorca (1998) and finalist of the Concours Henri Tomasi of wind quintets in 2011.

He has performed contributions to the Orquestra de Valencia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia. Since 1995 he is soloist of bassoon in the Balearic Islands Symphonic Orchestra.

José Francisco Fortea Balaguer, french horn.

Born in Benaguasil, (Valencia), where he began his musical studies. In 1996 he finished the higher degree of music in the Conservatory of Music of Valencia. In 1996 he is also a soloist member by selection, of the “Mediterranean Youth Orchestra” (Marseille).

In 1997 he won a horn "tutti" competition in the Orchestra Ciudad de Málaga. Since 2000, he has been a teacher at the Conservatory of Music in Calahorra (La Rioja), and it is in 2009 that, after passing a competition, he becomes part of the “Orquesta Sinfónica de les Illes Balears”.

Member of the "Lluis Vives” wind quintet since 1997, he is a finalist of the chamber music competition "Henry Tomassi", and has acted as soloist with the OSIB.

Program

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Quintet in E flat major for Piano and Winds K452.
- Largo – Allegro moderado.
- Larghetto.
- Allegretto.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827))

Quintet in E flat major for Piano and Winds Op16.
- Grave – Allegro ma non troppo.
- Andante Cantabile.
- Rondo. Allegro, ma non troppo.

Harmonie du soir, ensemble: Enrique Bernaldo de Quirós, piano. Carlos Fortea Balaguer, oboe. Silvia Insa Llopis, clarinet. José Vicente Tatay Llusar, bassoon. José Francisco Fortea Balaguer, french horn.

Truthful Recording Technology v3.2. Musicstry Studios. Madrid. Spain. Recorded: June 9, 10 2017. Released: March 1 2018. Photo: Daniel Mellado. Liner notes: Justo Romero. Producer: Mario Martínez. PC17007 ℗ & © 2018 PlayClassics.
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