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Track(s) taken from CDA67381/2

Quintet in D major

composer
1898

The Nash Ensemble
Recording details: July 2002
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: November 2002
Total duration: 24 minutes 42 seconds
 
1
Allegro moderato  [6'57]
2
3
Andantino  [7'54]
4

Reviews

'An entrancing voyage of discovery' (Gramophone)

'This set would draw interest even if it didn't contain five world premiere recordings, such is the quality and insight of the music-making' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Nash’s playing is simply outstanding and makes the best possible case for giving many of these works a permanent place in the repertoire' (The Daily Telegraph)

'In these performances, there is an admirable sense of the discovery of previously unknown music of quality. The recordings are excellent. This is a major and exciting addition to the Vaughan Williams discography. Very strongly recommended' (International Record Review)

'The Nash Ensemble play with their customary blend of flawless perfection and musical insight' (The Times)

'The Nash Ensemble's performances are superb' (The Sunday Times)

'The Nash Ensemble plays these stunning miniatures with all the freshness and excitement of a new discovery' (The Strad)

'exuberant, robust, immensely likeable music (The Nash Ensemble obviously love playing it)' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This revelatory collection of early chamber works by the giant of the 20th-century English style is fascinating and captivating' (The Scotsman)

'The Nash Ensemble play these first performances with passion and aplomb … very good indeed' (BBCi)

'The Nash Ensemble plays with sensitivity, beauty, and taste. It may well have replaced the old Melos Ensemble as my favorite British chamber consort … They have at least two more Hyperion CDs devoted to Vaughan Williams's chamber music (instrumental and vocal), both of high quality. This, I think, is the best of the three, and it's beautifully recorded besides' (Classical Music)

'The Nash Ensemble performs all of this music with boundless enthusiasm and technical assurance … This is a ‘must’ for anyone who cares about Vaughan Williams' (ClassicsToday.com)

'Un must pour tous, et un apport fondamental à la discographie' (Répertoire, France)

'les musiciens du Nash mettent leur technique et leur enthousiasme au service d’une matière inégale' (Diapason, France)
The Quintet in D for clarinet, horn, violin, cello and piano also dates from 1898 and had its first performance in the Queen’s (small) Hall on 5 June 1901. It is a slightly shorter work than the string quartet. If it only fitfully contains elements of the mature VW, it is a delightful work in its own right, with playful touches and more than a ration of charm. The writing for the piano is very accomplished and torpedoes the myth, much propagated by the composer himself, that he lacked technique and was clumsy. It is like anglicised Brahms with a sense of humour, notably in the Intermezzo. There is even an allusion to the slow movement of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony in the Andantino. A feature of this movement is how the third bar of the horn’s opening phrase is repeated for nineteen bars as coda before it passes to clarinet and violin to bring the movement to a quiet ending. The first modern performance was at The British Library Conference Centre on 20 February 2001.

from notes by Michael Kennedy 2002

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