Beethoven's chamber works are rather underrated in the repertoire apart from the string quartets so it is good that we have Ensemble 360's new take on these two important pieces. My first encounter with the Septet was on an old Decca recording of the London Wind Ensemble who still remain the top interpreters of the work in my opinion but this delightfully fresh new recording does run them pretty close on all accounts.
The Serenade is another beautiful piece of music with the Ensemble 360 really at the top of their game especially in the lovely Andante con variazioni which is really and truly the heart of the work. Apart from the considerable musical delights on this recording, one can revel in Misha Donat's notes which reveal some intriguing and lesser known facts about these rather underrated works. The recorded sound is also quite bright and airy with a crisp sounding woodwind and silky smooth strings. A winner through and through if you are looking for these two works that make an ideal partnership.
Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech