A cunningly conceived CD which introduces relatively unfamiliar composers of the 18th & early 19th century, who upstage minor Mozart and Schubert convincingly. Mozart programmed a symphony by Gyrowetz (1963-1850) as one of his own, and only confessed the trick after it had caused a sensation. Chopin debuted in Vienna with a Gyrowetz piano concerto! He continued to compose in the early Viennese Classical style long after it was outmoded. The quartet chosen is charming as too is Hoffmeister's. A trained lawyer, publisher and composer (b.1754 – d.1812), his Quartet here is properly described as 'an exceptional work' with Sturm und Drang features. Dittersdorf (who in 1784 played quartets with Haydn, Mozart and Vanhall!) contributes a good string trio for a lean recital repertoire.
Think of the single Schubert movement here, and the Mozart 2-movement piece (1780 – he hated the flute), as fill-ups! Dates of most of these works are not given, I guess only because they are not known? Otherwise, the recorded performances and documentation are impeccable.
A distinguished CD which deserves success for putting the famous greats in context and expanding appreciation of music of the time.
Copyright © 2005, Peter Grahame Woolf