Dresdner Oktett’s Chamber Evening Deservedly Attracts Capacity Crowd

24/05/2016

Beethoven, Schubert, ‘Kammerabend’: Dresdner Oktett, Semperoper, Dresden, 17.5.16. (MC)

Kammermusik - Abend der Staatskapelle am 17.05.2016 in der Semperoper .  Foto: Oliver Killig

Dresdner Oktett (c) Oliver Killig

Beethoven – Septet in E flat major, Op. 20 (1800)

Schubert – Octet in F major, D 803 (1824)

Dresdner Oktett: Matthias Wollong (first violin), Jörg Faßmann (second violin), Sebastian Herberg, (viola), Norbert Anger (cello), Andreas Wylezol (bass), Wolfram Große (clarinet), Robert Langbein (horn), Joachim Hans (bassoon)

Performed by members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden the reputation of this series of chamber recitals at the Semperoper is sufficient for Dresden audiences to buy tickets long before the programme is known. I was told of the great popularity of these chamber music evenings and sure enough the Semperoper was virtually full.

The first half of the programme consisted of Beethoven’s Septet that was completed in 1800 bearing a dedication to Empress Maria Theresa. For its time the scoring was innovative owing to its employment of the winds including the prominent role for the clarinet. A substantial work lasting around forty minutes the six movement score opens with a serious sounding chorale. It wasn’t long after the Dresdner Oktett had commenced that I became aware of the remarkable way the composer blends, contrasts and balances the disparate sounds of his string, woodwind and brass. Highlights included the playing of the Adagio cantabile especially the mellow violin playing from Matthias Wollong and the overall degree of tenderness achieved with an undertow of melancholy. Noteworthy too was the freshness and ebullience given to the upbeat Scherzo and Norbert Anger’s charming cello solo.

After the interval we heard Schubert’s Octet, a work taking just over an hour to perform. It’s common to see the ‘Octet’ paired with the Beethoven ‘Septet’ as its instrumentation differs only by the addition of a second violin. Schubert wrote the endearing F major score in response to a request by clarinettist Ferdinand Troyer and is a work contemporaneous with his ‘Rosamunde’ and ‘Death and the Maiden’ string quartets. Augmented by second violinist Jörg Faßmann in the reliable hands of the Dresdner Oktett especially striking was the melodically memorable Allegro vivace – Trio a Scherzo full of incident with typical unremitting Schubertian rhythms. Approaching the Scherzo in terms of style and meter the satisfyingly lyrical Menuetto felt as fresh and invigorating as the verdant Alpine scenery the composer knew so well.

Throughout this chamber recital the lightness of touch and sensitivity, immaculate intonation and overall unity of the playing was particularly impressive given the demanding nature of the two works. Music making of unadulterated joy from the Dresdner Oktett made this a Kammerabend to treasure.

Michael Cookson

 

Print Friendly

Comments

Comments are closed.

Recent Reviews

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • UPDATED! Culture and the Coast: Garsington’s Opera for All and Forthcoming Opera Screenings __________________________________
  • NEW! 2017 BBC Proms from Friday 14 July – Saturday 9 September __________________________________
  • NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich Announces Details of New Season 2017/2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Grange Park Opera’s 2017 Season in its New Opera House __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House Announces its 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! In 2017 The Three Choirs Festival is from 22 to 29 July __________________________________
  • NEW! Glyndebourne Festival 2017: At Glyndebourne, At the Cinema and On Tour __________________________________
  • NEW! The Cleveland Orchestra in 2017-18 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera in 2017 features Salieri’s The School of Jealousy __________________________________
  • NEW! Leeds Lieder Announces Seventh Festival of Song for April __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera Announces its 2017/2018 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet’s 2017 – 2018 Autumn/Winter Season __________________________________
  • NEW! General Booking is Now Open for Longborough Festival Opera 2017 __________________________________
  • NEW! 2017 Lucerne Summer Festival __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! IN MEMORIAM LOUIS FRÉMAUX (1921-2017) __________________________________
  • NEW! Robert Farr reports on the 26th Annual Singing Competition Final – Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Award for Singers __________________________________
  • UPDATED IN MEMORIAM NICOLAI GEDDA (1925-2017) __________________________________
  • NEW! BARITONE MICHAEL VOLLE IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • NEW! PIANIST ALEXANDER KARPEYEV IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! Reviews of Opera in Mumbai: A Gala and La Bohème Revisited __________________________________
  • NEW! FIVE YOUNG SINGERS JOIN THE JETTE PARKER YOUNG ARTISTS FOR 2017 __________________________________
  • NEW! THE SOPRANO ELISABETH MEISTER: FIGHTING BACK FROM WHAT LIFE THROWS AT YOU AND INSPIRING OTHERS __________________________________
  • NEW! REVIEWERS OF SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL PICK THEIR BEST OF 2016 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Mastersingers Celebrate Wagner Past and Present with the Rehearsal Orchestra __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month

    Search S&H