Hyperion Records

Clarinet Quintet in E flat major, Op 57

'Romberg, Fuchs & Stanford: Clarinet Quintets' (CDH55076)
Romberg, Fuchs & Stanford: Clarinet Quintets
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55076  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Movement 1: Allegro
Track 1 on CDH55076 [8'22] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 2: Menuetto: Allegretto
Track 2 on CDH55076 [6'31] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 3: Larghetto
Track 3 on CDH55076 [4'24] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 4: Finale: Allegro vivace
Track 4 on CDH55076 [4'18] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Clarinet Quintet in E flat major, Op 57
To most people today the name ‘Romberg’ brings to mind the composer of The Desert Song and The Student Prince, i.e. Sigmund, the twentieth-century American composer of Hungarian birth. However, ‘Romberg’ as printed without Christian name on the original set of parts clearly at some point signified someone very different. Even in nineteenth-century Germany, however, there would still have been room for confusion, for there was an entire German family of Rombergs. Bernhard Heinrich (1767–1841) and his cousin, the present composer Andreas Jakob (1767–1821) were the most prominent. Bernhard was a cellist, Andreas a violinist; as children they gave recital tours together (often passing themselves off as brothers) and in 1790 both joined the electoral orchestra in Bonn, which numbered the young Beethoven among its members (he played viola).

In the early 1800s Andreas settled in Hamburg and cut his performing down increasingly in favour of composing. He won international recognition for his Schiller setting Das Lied von der Glocke. Other works include The Messiah (after Klopstock), numerous symphonies, concertos, string quartets and songs (many popular among amateurs). Haydn and Mozart were his models, as we can hear in the Clarinet Quintet. He died too young to be influenced by Beethoven. Contemporary accounts of his violin playing might just as well be describing his compositions: ‘robust rather than fiery, vigorous and grainy rather than emotional’ (Rochlitz) and ‘cultured and thoughtful’ (Spohr). Note the odd combination here—one violin, two violas (as opposed to two violins and one viola). Almost certainly this was designed to emphasize the importance allotted throughout the work to Romberg’s own instrument, the violin; which is not to say that his treatment of the ‘official’ soloist, the clarinet, is anything less than sympathetic and inventive.

from notes by Christopher Palmer İ 1992

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Details for CDA66479 track 4
Finale: Allegro vivace
Recording date
12 January 1991
Recording venue
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Romberg, Fuchs & Stanford: Clarinet Quintets (CDA66479)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: April 1992
    Deletion date: May 2001
    Superseded by CDH55076
  2. Romberg, Fuchs & Stanford: Clarinet Quintets (CDH55076)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: May 2001
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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