Hyperion Records

Divertimento in C major, Op 9

'Oboe Quintets' (CDH55015)
Oboe Quintets
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55015  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service  
Movement 1: Allegro
Track 1 on CDH55015 [3'33] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 2: Andante poco adagio
Track 2 on CDH55015 [2'48] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 3: Allegro
Track 3 on CDH55015 [1'53] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 4: Allegro vivace
Track 4 on CDH55015 [1'53] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service

Divertimento in C major, Op 9
Born into a family of Finnish bookbinders on 15 October 1775 in Nystad, Bernhard Henrik Crusell’s musical ability was quick to manifest itself, though it was not encouraged by his parents. Nevertheless, he became apprenticed to a military band at the age of thirteen (he had taken up the clarinet at the age of four) at Sveaborg, which transferred to Stockholm in 1791. It was as a clarinettist that Crusell was to make his name, studying with Franz Tausch in Berlin and later with Jean Xavier Lefèvre in Paris.

Whilst in Stockholm Crusell studied music theory with Abbé Georg Joseph Vogler (one of the more colourful and controversial of the many theorists working at the end of the eighteenth century), Kapellmeister and tutor to Gustav III since 1786, but it was only at the turn of the century that he himself began composing seriously. As a measure of his success, many of his works were published by Peters in Leipzig; he was the first Finnish composer whose music appeared in print. Vogler, who had been enjoined to found a national music school in Stockholm, must have been pleased.

On paper the overall plan of the C major Divertimento is conventional enough, but the structure is in fact entirely novel. As a wind player himself, Crusell treats the oboe very much as a soloist and many of the gestures derive from the concerto and operatic aria. The first Allegro proceeds very much as a normal sonata-form movement would (the very flexible approach to modulation may well have been learned from Vogler), but the spirited codetta, which gives the oboist the opportunity to show off some high notes, leads not into the expected development section but into a cadenza for the oboe which in turns leads directly into the slow movement. (This practice of truncating the first movement found some favour in the nineteenth century, the best known example being Max Bruch’s G minor Violin Concerto.) The C minor Andante poco adagio is a movement whose gravity is tempered by some smiling turns towards the major mode. Towards its close the mood becomes more fervent, but this is dispelled by the ensuing Allegro, which again follows without a break and is itself little more than a fairly extended introduction to the Allegro vivace finale proper.

from notes by Andrew Mikolajski © 1999

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDH55015 track 2
Andante poco adagio
Recording date
8 March 1984
Recording venue
St Barnabas's Church, North Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Crusell, Kreutzer & Reicha: Oboe Quintets (CDA66143)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: April 1987
    Deletion date: May 1999
    Superseded by CDH55015
  2. Oboe Quintets (CDH55015)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: May 1999
    Deletion date: November 2008
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
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