Onslow: String Quintets, Vol. 2 – Nos. 10 & 22 Elan Quintet
- George Onslow (1784 - 1853): String Quintet No. 10 in F Minor, Op. 32:
- 1I. Largo - Allegro08:53
- 2II. Andante07:54
- 3III. Menuetto. Allegro impetuoso05:32
- 4IV. Allegro agitato07:16
- String Quintet No. 22 in E-Flat Major, Op. 57:
- 5I. Allegro non tanto vivace11:28
- 6II. Adagio08:33
- 7III. Scherzo. Allegro05:40
- 8IV. Finale pastorale. Allegretto grazioso10:06
Info for Onslow: String Quintets, Vol. 2 – Nos. 10 & 22
It was Robert Schumann who praised the Anglo-French Georges Onslow, alongside Mendelssohn, as one of the successors to the chamber music legacy of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. His string quintets were intended for a market of cultivated amateurs, with parts for a second cello or bass. No. 10 in F minor, Op. 32 reflects Beethoven’s influence, its Sturm und Drang elements revealing a masterly balance between the stable and unpredictable. No. 22 in E flat major, lively and playful, offers an almost Schubertian songfulness. Of the first volume (8.573600) Gramophone wrote: ‘these five players make a beguiling case for this music’.
„Summarising the opening of my review of the first volume, Onslow was a ‘gentleman’ composer who inherited such wealth that he could spend his life composing without regard to the success of his works. That made him hugely prolific in every genre including seventy works for string quartet and quintet. Originally written so that they could be performed by two cellos, it was when the great double bassist, Domenico Dragonetti, became a last minute replacement for one of the cellist in a performance of an Onslow quintet, that the composer was so impressed, he set about rewriting his previous quintets—and all of his new quintets—for that combination of instruments. Coming from the middle part of his career, the Tenth from 1827 has Mozart in his most genial mood as its parent. The result is a work of ready attraction, that really should be in the standard chamber music repertoire, its finale clothed in pure vivacity. Beethoven was dead by the time of the Twenty-Second from 1836, and a more serious aspect had invaded his scores. The result is in a measured mode, particularly in the extended outer movements—the score lasting over thirty-five minutes, with a scherzo that is magical. Had it carried the name Mendelssohn it would be a standard part of the repertoire. Throughout the disc, both works being ‘World Premiere Recordings’, you have the impression the Elan Quintet, which includes a double bass, have felt they are in the presence of masterpieces and have provided excellent performances. The sound quality is outstanding in its balance and clarity. Very strongly recommended.“ (David Denton, David’s Review Corner)
The Elan Quintet
began from a compendium of performance experience in lyric, symphonic and chamber music shared between its members, all musicians of the opera orchestra of the Palau de les Arts. The combination of string quartet with double bass has opened up a richness of tone and distinct soundscape that the Elan Quintet has dedicated to exploring, celebrating works by composers such as Dvorak and Cambini and rediscovering forgotten masterpieces such as by Onslow and Bridge.
Described as a “delicious discovery” (Las Provincias) and “playing of great charm” (Gramophone Magazine), the Elan Quintet has recorded and performed with Grammy Award winning composer Claudia Montero for her 2016 CD “Irremediablemente Buenos Aires” as well as for international clarinet soloist Joan Enric Lluna. In 2015, the quintet began their project with Naxos Records to record the little known string quintets of George Onslow.