Hyperion Records

Grand Septet in B flat major
composer
1828; possibly a revision of the earlier 1817 Septet, now lost

Recordings
'Berwald: Chamber Music' (CDD22053)
Berwald: Chamber Music
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDD22053  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  
Details
Movement 1: Adagio – Allegro molto
Track 8 on CDD22053 CD1 [7'03] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 2: Poco adagio
Track 9 on CDD22053 CD1 [9'00] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 3: Finale: Allegro con spirito
Track 10 on CDD22053 CD1 [5'35] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)

Grand Septet in B flat major
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Of course Berwald’s best and most characteristic music comes from the 1840s, immediately after his marriage and the successes he enjoyed in Vienna, but two early works stand out for their originality. First, the String Quartet in G minor of 1818 with its inventive resource and modulatory audacities, and then the Grand Septet in B flat (1828). In the early years of the nineteenth century, Beethoven’s Septet was often played in Stockholm—and pretty well everywhere else for that matter. Like Hummel and Kreutzer, Berwald chose the same combination—clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double-bass—for his first essay in this form, written in 1817. No autograph of the 1817 Septet survives and the work we know comes from 1828. At the time Berwald spoke of it as a new work but it would seem more likely to be a re-working of the earlier piece. Sten Broman believed the two were different pieces but since, in a letter from Berlin to his sisters in 1831 discussing his early works, Berwald refers to the Septet, I incline to the view that it was a revision. Whether or not this is the case, the Septet is among his most delightful pieces. Formally it is innovative and anticipates the Sinfonie singulière (1845), enfolding the scherzo into the slow movement so that the middle movement functions both as a slow movement and as a scherzo. This has relatively few precedents, though Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach adopted the practice in his C minor Klavier Concerto, Wq43 No 4. Later on in his String Quartet in E flat of 1849, Berwald takes this a stage further by putting the slow movement, complete with its scherzo enclosed, inside the main body of the first movement so that the whole piece is like a Chinese box. In its musical language we are in the tradition of Spohr and Kreutzer: inventive, urbane and attractive. In the finale there are occasional touches that even foreshadow the highly individual fingerprints of the Berwald of the 1840s.

from notes by Robert Layton © 1997

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDD22053 disc 1 track 10
Movement 3: Finale: Allegro con spirito
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-96-83410
Duration
5'35
Recording date
13 October 1995
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Berwald: Chamber Music, Vol. 1 (CDA66834)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: May 1996
    Deletion date: October 2004
    Superseded by CDD22053
  2. Berwald: Chamber Music (CDD22053)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: March 2006
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
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