Hyperion Records

Clarinet Quintet in E flat major, Op 102

'Romberg, Fuchs & Stanford: Clarinet Quintets' (CDH55076)
Romberg, Fuchs & Stanford: Clarinet Quintets
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55076  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Movement 1: Allegro molto moderato
Track 5 on CDH55076 [9'48] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 2: Allegro scherzando
Track 6 on CDH55076 [6'01] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 3: Andante sostenuto
Track 7 on CDH55076 [6'50] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 4: Allegretto grazioso
Track 8 on CDH55076 [7'09] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Clarinet Quintet in E flat major, Op 102
If there are numerous Rombergs there are even more Fuchses: the 1980 Grove lists eleven. Perhaps surprisingly, this Fuchs is not the clarinettist-composer Georg-Friedrich Fuchs (1752–1821)—nearly all of whose numerous compositions and arrangements feature the clarinet—but a musician better known today (rather like Stanford, in fact) for the composers he taught than for the composer he was. In his lifetime, however, Robert Fuchs was quite popular as a minor composer. His five small orchestral serenades caused him to be nicknamed ‘Serenaden-Fuchs’ (which might be translated ‘The Serenading Fox’) and his music was publicly acclaimed by, of all people, Brahms, almost never known for generosity of spirit when it came to other composers’ efforts, particularly those of the rising generation. Fuchs’s relations with his ‘rising generation’ on the other hand were, as far as is recorded, extremely cordial. He settled in Vienna in 1865 and joined the teaching staff of the Conservatory where Mahler, Sibelius, Franz Schmidt, Franz Schreker, Wolf and Zemlinsky were among the pupils who passed through his hands.

Fuchs completed the Clarinet Quintet in 1917 and it was first performed in Vienna in March of the same year as part of a concert celebrating the composer’s seventieth birthday. It was enthusiastically received by both public and press—the Neue Freie Presse Wien heard in it ‘the scents and colours of soft spring blossoms set to music’. The work has a sweetness and innocence and a fresh poetic charm that recalls Schubert (or is it simply Viennese?); and in every technical aspect—melody, polyphony, form, instrumentation—Fuchs’s pupils clearly had a master who knew how to practise what he preached. But then Brahms had said, years before: ‘Fuchs is a splendid musician. Everything is so refined, so skilled, so delightfully inventive, we can always take pleasure in what we hear.’

from notes by Christopher Palmer © 1992

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Details for CDH55076 track 8
Allegretto grazioso
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 8
    Release date: April 1992
    Deletion date: May 2001
    Superseded by CDH55076
  2. Romberg, Fuchs & Stanford: Clarinet Quintets (CDH55076)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: May 2001
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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