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Wranitzky: String Quintet, String Sextet CD

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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Wranitzky
  • Audio CD (26 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B006YXGU42
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro Non Tanto
2. Andante Con Moto
3. Minuetto: Allegretto/Trio
4. Finale: Adagio Con Espressione - Allegretto
5. Allegro
6. Andantino
7. Finale: Adagio - Allegretto

Product Description

Anton Wranitzky (1761-1820), a near-contemporary of Beethoven, was a leading figure in Viennas highest musical circles. He was under the patronage of Prince Lobkowitz and in that capacity he led the world premieres of Beethovens 3rd and 6th symphonies. Beethoven held him in high esteem as a composer. Wranitzkys skills and originality are shown in these two works for string ensemble. The Quintet in the unusual combination of 1 violin, 2 violas and 2 cellos, create fascinating deep sonorities from the ensemble. Ensemble Cordia present these beautiful Works for the first time on CD, played on original instruments by leading specialists in the Early Music field. The ensemble already won high critical acclaim for their earlier recordings for Brilliant (Telemann, Baroque arias and others). Although Anton Wranitzky (17611820) may not be a household name to listeners today, this skilled composer was one of the central figures of Viennese musical life at the turn of the 18th century. Like his teacher Haydn, he was a recipient of Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitzs patronage and support. As Kapellmeister and composer for the princes court ensemble,Wranitzky was at the forefront of Viennas musical culture, and it was in this position that he led the first private performances of Beethovens Eroica and Pastoral symphonies, among others. Later in his career he became orchestral director of the main theatres in Vienna, although the patronage that he had relied on dwindled later in his career, as Lobkowitz and other supporters experienced financial difficulties. Wranitzkys chamber music reveals a voice of some individuality.The two works on this disc are scored for fascinating but rather unusual combinations of instruments, possibly in response to the musicians employed at the princes court: the Quintet in E flat features the grouping of one violin, two violas and two cellos, and the Sextet in G is scored for two each of violins, violas and cellos. In both works, the unusual sonorities that these combinations create are explored imaginatively, while Wranitzkys approach to texture, theme and structure shows him to have been a composer of great skill and originality.

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paulo Cruz on 22 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Goog quality choice with an excellent service. Fully satisfied. Product arrived in good conditions and corresponds to the specifications. Excellent.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ct molloy on 21 Nov. 2014
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Expanded String Quartets from Anton Vranicky 26 Sept. 2012
By bejart7092 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After starting his compositional career writing for the Catholic Church, Anton Vranicky (1761-1820)- aka Wranitzky - had to change direction, since the reforms of Emperor Joseph II reduced the need for liturgical works in the 1780's. So he turned to the secular. Appointed as the leader of the small court ensemble of Prince Lobkowitz, the famous patron of Haydn, Beethoven and many others, he traveled among the Prince's 5 palaces, composing, arranging and playing chamber music. These two works are from that period, the very pinnacle of the Classical era.

Among those court musicians were a father and son pair of cellists who had been with Haydn at Esterhazy, Anton and Nicolaus Kraft. The prominence given to the bass lines in these compositions is a tribute to their talent, and having such accomplished musicians at his disposal allowed Vranicky to explore beyond the basic string quartet format.

The unusual alignment of the String Quintet in E Flat, Op.8, No.3 gives the work a dark, rich texture. One violin, two violas and two cellos create the opportunity for the lower strings to assume greater responsibility for carrying the melody. And although the opening `Allegro non tanto' employs the violin to present the initial thematic material, the violas frequently take center stage, trading the melodic lines back and forth as often as they provide counterpoint to the upper voice.

A stylish triple metered `Andante con moto' follows, with the violin assuming the lead and the cellos giving adroit support, punctuated with soft pizzicato. Elegant and graceful, the 3rd movement `Minuetto' is also in triple meter. The cellos establish the theme, which is soon taken up by the violas before the single violin enters and glides to a smooth ending.

The finale begins with a melancholy `Adagio con espressione', with the emotive power coming initially from the flowing bass lines, before the cellos fall completely silent to allow the soaring violin full sway. As the quintet shifts effortlessly to a lilting "Allegretto', the violas take center stage. The violins recede into the background, adorning the movement with ornamental flourishes as the lower voices are given the primary focus before coming to a cheerful conclusion.

The String Sextet in G Major utilizes a lineup that was not to find wider usage until late in 19th century, pairs of violins, violas and cellos. After an introduction by the violins, the 1st movement `Allegro' contains a wonderful, all too brief passage where the cellos trade melodic lines, which are then taken up by the violas before returning to the upper voices for the closing bars.

Carried by the violas, a somber `Andantino' is followed by a pithy 3rd movement `Adagio'. A playful, rustic `Allegretto' concludes the work. Written in triple meter, it skips along, featuring each pair of instruments in turn until it reaches the final notes, softly fading away.

These world premiere recordings by Brilliant Classics are sharp and focused, allowing Vranicky's refined artistry shine. And the skillful work of Ensemble Cordia is excellent. Particularly ear catching is the elegant 1st violin of Stanley Ritchie and the fleet fingered cello playing of Stefano Veggetti and Franziska Romaner.

The epitome of Classical era sophistication, these 2 chamber works show Anton Vranicky near top of his form. Thankfully, we have this recording of his stylish creativity.
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