Saturday, January 2, 2016

Bruch Complete String Quartets - Diogenes Quartett (2016)

Max Bruch
Performer: Diogenes Quartett
Label: Brilliant Classic
Release: January 2016 - BUY

Max Bruch finally can has his own "Complete String Quartets" CD. This improvement happened because his third string quartet had been discovered and recorded! To be precised, the new string quartet is actually his first, composed during his youth at the age of 14! The notes :

In 2013 an unknown quartet was discovered in the archives of the Mozart-Stiftung in Frankfurt, further research made it clear it was by the 14-year old Max Bruch! This fresh and spontaneous youth work clearly has its roots in the romantic tradition going back to Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert and Schumann.

If you thrilled about two Max Bruch string quartets that already known (as I am!), this new piece is very much welcome for string quartet fans. Brilliant Classic recorded this with Diogenes Quartett, who done lot of little known Romantic era string quartet in their repertoire. The new quartet is written in C Minor key, exactly the same as his first string quartet. Is this the proto type of the first quartet? Let's wait till the CD being released then we will write review on it.

Max Bruch : Complete String Quartet

    1.    String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro molto
    2.    String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: II. Adagio
    3.    String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: III. Scherzo. Allegro molto
    4.    String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: IV. Finale. Presto agitato
    5.    String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: I. Andante – Allegro ma non troppo
    6.    String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: II. Adagio
    7.    String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: III. Allegro molto energico
    8.    String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: IV. Molto vivace
    9.    String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: I. Allegro maestoso
    10.    String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: II. Andante quasi adagio
    11.    String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: III. Vivace non troppo - Un poco meno vivo
    12.    String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: IV. Finale. Vivace

Diogenes Quartett
Stefan Kirpal violin
Gundula Kirpal violin
Alba González i Becerra viola
Stephen Ristau violincello

Boccherini - 6 String Quartets Op. 26 (2016)

Luigi Boccherini (1745-1805)
Performer: Ensemble Symposium
Label: Brilliant Classic
Release: January 2016

The collection of Luigi Boccherini string quartet is keep coming. This time the good news coming from Ensemble Symposium which done six string quartet as Op.26 or G 195 to 200. This is indeed the first recording, as the CD stated, and true I can't remember it had been recorded elsewhere. The website include some important notes on this:

About this release
Generally known as Boccherini’s Op.26, this set of two-movement ‘quartettini’ was first published as Op.32, but confusion has continued down the years, which may be one reason why these delightful works have remained little-known and under-recorded; the only extant version on CD is of arrangements for keyboard and piano quartet, so this set offers a valuable first chance to acquaint oneself with Boccherini’s original scoring.   more HERE

another notes:
The first recording for string quartet of the 6 Quartets Op.26 by Boccherini.
Boccherini was in the service of the Infante Don Luis, the brother of King Charles III of Spain. He was required to write 3 sets of 6 pieces every year, a duty which led to the rich and substantial oeuvre of chamber music by the Italian master.

The quartets are small scale, consisting of usually two movements, the first Allegro in sonata form followed by a Menuetto plus Trio. The style, “Classical Pure”, is here and there infused by Spanish elements, such as certain syncopations suggesting Spanish dances, like the Fandango: high class entertainment!

Let's wait until this CD been released and will write review for it.


    1.    Quartet in B-Flat Major, G. 195: I. Allegro moderato
    2.    Quartet in B-Flat Major, G. 195: II. Minuetto con moto – Trio
    3.    Quartet in G Minor, G. 196: I. Larghetto
    4.    Quartet in G Minor, G. 196: II. Minuetto – Trio
    5.    Quartet in E-Flat Major, G. 197: I. Allegro vivace
    6.    Quartet in E-Flat Major, G. 197: II. Minuetto – Trio
    7.    Quartet in A Major, G. 198: I. Larghetto
    8.    Quartet in A Major, G. 198: II. Minuetto con moto – Trio
    9.    Quartet in F Major, G. 199: I. Allegretto
    10.   Quartet in F Major, G. 199: II. Minuetto allegro – Trio
    11.   Quartet in F Minor, G. 200: I. Andante appassionato ma non lento
    12.   Quartet in F Minor, G. 200: II. Minuetto – Trio

Ensemble Symposium
Igor Cantarelli violin
Gian Andrea Guerra violin
Simone Laghi viola
Gregorio Buti violoncello

Sunday, November 22, 2015

List of Flute and String Quartet / Quintet Recordings of the Classical Era

Flute is arguably the next most popular instruments to paired to string quartet and quintet ensemble. The quartet for flute and string trio that formed flute quartet have wide repertoire, I believe much larger than, said, clarinet or oboe or other woodwinds instrument. The form seemingly enjoyed popularity in Classical Era. Apart from well known Mozart's four flute quartets, sadly lesser piece have been known to this category. Here are the list of most popular recording available in the market for the last 15 years that created flute quartet and flute quintet. I sort the list according to composer's lifetime, and some short commentary on notable piece.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Quartets for Flute, Violin, Viola da Gamba, Bk 1 "Paris Quartets"
by Reinhard Goebel, Musica Antiqua Koln - BUY IT HERE

The Paris Quartets is the earliest flute quartet that stand out from the crowd. The piece was created in the late Baroque era, one can link this to earliest form of string quartet in overall. 


Johann Joachim Quantz (1697–1773): Six Flute Quartets 2004
by Mary Oleskiewicz (baroque flute after Quantz), Elizabeth Field (baroque violin), Daniel Elyar (baroque viola), Stephanie Vial (baroque cello), David Schulenberg (harpsichord). - BUY IT HERE

J.J. Quantz was one of most important composer in flute repertoire. These are his flute chamber works where it was composed for Flute, violin, viola, cello and also harpsichord.

Louis-Gabriel Guillemain (1705 –1770)
Birth Of The String Quartet, Vol. 2 - The Sound Of The 18th Century
by Casal Quartett - BUY IT HERE
Guillemain composed six flute quartets op.12, Six sonates en quatuors ou conversations galantes, for flute, violin, bass viol, and basso continuo (1743) This recording performed in string quartet version.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714 – 1788): 3 Flute Quartets CD
by Jean-Philippe Vasseur (viola) , Laure Colladant (Piano), Antoine Ladrette (Cello), Philippe Allain-Dupre (Flute)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich - String Quartets (2015)

Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich (20 February 1803 - † 16th October 1836)
Performer : Beethoven Quartett
Label : Musique Suisse
Release : October 2015  -  BUY IT HERE

Another very little known composer with his three string quartets recorded! Friedrich Theodor Frohlich was Swiss composer. As the year indicated, his life is very short with tragic stories. These three string quartets most probably composed in the era of Beethoven. By the year 1830s, all Beethoven string quartets had been known, so it is interesting to listen what mr. Frohlich's string quartet sound like. His biography is not even written in English wikipedia and only available in Germany.

The CD descriptions as below from official website:

Many people in the German-speaking countries know a work by Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich without ever having heard his name – he’s the composer of the song “Wem Gott will rechte Gunst erweisen” to a text by Joseph von Eichendorff, which was a hit that was included in every song book until the early 20th century. This song’s popularity surely lies in Fröhlich’s singable but by no means simple melody. No other work by this Swiss composer has achieved any similar degree of popularity, and in fact most of his works have not even been published to this day. During his academic years, Fröhlich spent four years in Berlin, and his experiences in the highly lively music scene of the big city made this a formative time for him. He was given composition lessons by no less a figure than Carl Friedrich Zelter, the director of many years standing of the Sing-Akademie, the founder of the Berlin Liedertafel (literally “song table”, a German term for a choral society) and the teacher of Felix Mendelssohn. Also just like Mendelssohn, Fröhlich took piano lessons from Ludwig Berger, at the time the most famous piano teacher in Berlin. Berger, like Zelter, was an advocate of folk song and of choral singing. He founded the “Jüngere Liedertafel” (the “younger Liedtafel”), a male choral society so named to differentiate itself from Zelter’s choir. Fröhlich, too, sang in Berger’s choir. In 1830 Fröhlich returned to Switzerland in the hope that he might build up a career for himself there. His brother, Abraham Emanuel Fröhlich, procured a job for him at the Cantonal High School in Aarau, though this did not suffice to cover all his living costs. He also conducted amateur orchestras and the Singing Institute in Aarau, though Fröhlich felt constricted in his activities: “From seven on a morning to six, often even seven in the evening”, he said, he existed “under the yoke of a miserable career”. Nevertheless, Fröhlich succeeded in composing in his spare time. While working in Aarau in the 1830s he wrote a concert overture, chamber music, piano pieces and part-songs. The last of his four string quartets, in C minor, was also composed in these years. Despite his numerous commitments, Fröhlich still had financial difficulties. Besides problems in his private life he also seems to have suffered from depression and from a lack of recognition for his works. He was not able to withstand the pressure these worries exerted on him, and in October 1836, at the age of 33, he jumped into the River Aare and drowned.

Friedrich Theodor Fröhlich - Streichquartette / String Quartets :
Buy it HERE - Amazon

01. String Quartet in G Minor I. Andante con variazioni 10:07
02. String Quartet in G Minor: II. Scherzo - molto animato 02:33
03. String Quartet in G Minor: III. Largo cantabile 08:09
04. String Quartet in G Minor IV. Finale: Allegro molto 05:33
05. String Quartet in E Major: I. Allegretto ma non troppo 03:43
06. String Quartet in E Major: II. Scherzo, molto animoso 05:42
07. String Quartet in E Major: III. Adagio, con molto espressione 06:41
08. String Quartet in E Major: IV. Finale: Allegro agitato 05:37
09. String Quartet in C Minor: I. Allegro agitato 06:03
10. String Quartet in C Minor: II. Andante 04:39
11. String Quartet in C Minor : III. Scherzo: Presto-Trio 05:51
12. String Quartet in C Minor: IV. Finale: Adagio-Allegro 06:54

Beethoven Quartett:
Matyas Bartha und Laurentius Bonitz, Violin / Violinen;
Vahagn Aristakesyan, Viola;
Carlos Conrad, Violoncello.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Giuseppe Cambini 6 Flute Quartets - Quartetto Due Piu Due (2015)

Giuseppe Maria Cambini 
Six Flute Quartets
Performer Quartetto Due Piu Due
Release: September 2015

Giuseppe Maria Cambini, as I swim into the ocean of Classical Era Period string quartet, I found Cambini as one of the most mysterious composer in the genre. His life and death is rather obscured. The Wikipedia page listed as "Livorno, 13 February? 1746–Netherlands? 1810s? or Paris? 1825?". So, he probably death poorly that his death didn't even got recorded well. He composed over 700 works, with about 125 rumoured as string quartets and 100 as string quintets. His string quartet as recorded already in double CD by Quartetto Le Ricordanze.

In September 2014, Brilliant Classics finally put Cambini's works into recording room. Cambini's six flute quartets instead was selected. They are from Opus 24 set. All quartets in two movements but lasted quite long where the first movement all run over eight minutes. A good news for flute chamber music lover. A great sample music of Cambini in the genre. Here the CD notes:

Giuseppe Maria Cambini was probably active in Naples in the mid-1760s, but nothing certain is known of him until his move to Paris in the early 1770s, where his Op.1, a set of string quartets, was published shortly afterwards. Within the next 35 years upwards of 600 instrumental works had appeared under his name – enough to stretch even the famous Brilliant catalogue of ‘complete’ composer boxes… But Cambini’s wellcrafted melodies and good-humoured charm are well worthy of investigation, and from this set of quartets with flute, it is easy to see why his music was so popular: he was the galant Parisian composer par excellence. His life was even more anonymous than his music, and his death still more so; he may have died in Paris in 1825, or perhaps a decade earlier in the Netherlands.

The structure of these quartets is generally in no more than two movements, often both quick and in the same key. The themes are easy on the ear, with a natural, simple, unsurprising language and characterized by part-writing of unfailing sympathy. There is a strong stylistic elegance, touching inspiration and pre-Romantic feeling with hints of proto-Schubertian inspiration. In these historically informed performances, Stefano Parrino plays on a modern Yamaha copy of a Classical-model wooden flute. He is himself a graduate of the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Patrick Gallois.

Giuseppe Cambini was born in Naples, but settled early in his life in Paris, where he became a well known musician, teacher and composer of an astonishing quantity of works, mainly of instrumental chamber music.

His flute quartets are delightful works, light, sprightly, charming, full of good tunes and interesting instrumental flourishes. A true composer of the Galant Style, in Parisian spirit.

Played by a young and enthousiastic Italian ensemble DuePiùDue, playing original instruments, obviously enjoying these highly entertaining works.

Giuseppe Cambini 6 Flute Quartets - Quartetto DuePiuDue (2015)

Flute Quartet No. 1 in D Major T.145      
      I. Allegro con spirit 8:36      
      II. Rondo. Allegretto 4:05  
Flute Quartet No. 2 in G Major   T.146    
      I. Allegro grazioso 5:53      
      II. Rondo. Allegretto 4:39

Flute Quartet No. 3 in A Minor   T.147  
      I. Allegro affettuoso 9:18      
      II. Presto 7:46      

Flute Quartet No. 4 in C Major T.148
      I. Allegro brillante 8:08      
      II. Tempo di minuetto: Grazioso 5:47  
Flute Quartet No. 5 in G Major T.149    
      I. Allegro espressivo 8:55      
      II. Andante. Arioso con variation 7:26      

Flute Quartet No. 6 in A Major T.150    
      I. Allegro con grazia e moderato 9:05      
      II. Presto 5:33  

Quartetto DuePieDue
Stefano Parrino - flute Yamaha 874W (wooden)
Francesco Parrino - violin Giuseppe & Antonio Gagliano , Naples circa 1790-1805
Claudio Andriani - viola Arnaldo Morano , Turin 1962
Alessandro Andriani - cello Franco Simeoni, Treviso 2002

Thursday, October 15, 2015

List of Student Flutes and Comparison

List of Student Flute and Comparison

 This is a list of most popular flutes that design to meet beginner in learning the instruments. I gathered this information when I want to buy a student flute.

Yamaha YFL-221
Price: USD 460      Buy it HERE
Country : Japan

Specifications :
Key of
Body Style
Body Material
Nickel Silver
CY cut; Nickel Silver
Key Material
Nickel Silver
Tone Holes
Key System
Offset G
Key Types
Key Mechanism
Spring Type
Stainless Steel
Screw Type
Straight; Headed Pivot
Bumper Type

This is look like the most popular student flute that available in almost every country and store. The headjoint can be replaced to meet intermediate level as being said. It doesn't have split E mechanis, but his "older" brother , YFL 211 have it.

Jupiter JFL-511S and JFL-507S
Price: USD 350+       Buy it HERE  
Country : Taiwan

Key in C
Reinforced Keys
Top Adjustment Screws
Ribbed Construction
ABS Molded Case
Offset G

Jupiter flute is a very close competitor to Yamaha with lower price.

Azumi AZ2000 series
Price: USD 1400+   Buy it HERE
Country : Japan

Key in C
Open (French)
Altus-Bennett scale
wide-rib construction
sturdy key mechanism
gizmo key
Altus Z-cut headjoint in .958 Britannia silver
B foot
choice of in-line G or off-set G
Y tone arms

This looks like a slight upgrade to conservatory level flute, with open holes and other features. Azumi is child company of Altus, created by

Gemeinhardt 2SP Student Flute
Price: USD 470+    Buy it HERE
Country : USA

Key in C
C Foot

Pearl Flute PF500
Price: USD 490+    Buy it HERE
Country : Japan

Key in C
Silver Plated
C Foot joint
Offset G (No Split E)
Exclusive pinless mechanism

Trevor James TJ10X
Price: USD 350+   Buy it HERE
Country : Taiwan

    TJ10x Mk IV Series
    Silver-plated headjoint, body and mechanism
    Closed holes
    C footjoint
    Offset G key
    Split E mechanism

Armstrong Student Flute Model 102
Price: USD 720+   Buy it HERE
Country : USA

Silver plated headjoint and body
top-adjusting silver plated mechanism
closed hole Y-arm keys
offset G
C foot
molded plastic case.

Armstrong flutes is part of Conn-Selmer group.

There are still many other manufacturers but, from my research, they are producing intermediate flute. They are Muramatsu, Altus, Sankyo all the way to Brannen Brothers.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Giovanni Sgambati Piano Quintets String Quartets - Quartetto Noferini Roberto Piano (2015)

Giovanni Sgambati (May 28, 1841  – December 14, 1914)
Performers :  Quartetto Noferini, Roberto Plano (Piano)
Label : Brilliant Classics
Released : August 2015 - Buy it HERE -AMAZON

The legendary Giovanni Sgambati from Rome, Italia finally got his chamber music recorded properly. Two string quartets and piano quintets in on the Brilliant Classic CD. The CD liner notes :

Giovanni Sgambati (1841‐1914) was an important composer of 19th century Italy. A pupil and disciple of Franz Liszt he was one of the most brilliant pianists of his day. However, he was a composer, a conductor, a teacher and a patron as well, composing symphonies and chamber music in a country where opera was predominant.

Sgambati’s musical language is romantic pur sang. Rooted in the German tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann he was further influenced by his great mentor Franz Liszt and by Wagner (as so many in that age). This 2CD set contains two string quartets and the two piano quintets, impressive works of substantial length, richly textured and full of instrumental virtuosity. Excellent performances by Italian forces, the great pianist Alberto Plano (a Van Cliburn Competition winner) and the Quartetto Noferini.

Maybe the last of Italian Romantic defender, here are the album descriptions from Brilliant Classics.

Giovanni Sgambati (1841-1914) was one of the few 19th- century Italian musicians who worked outside the native operatic tradition of Donizetti and Verdi. As a conductor, composer, teacher and pianist, he promoted symphonic and chamber music alongside his younger and now more renowned colleague Giuseppe Martucci. Records of Sgambati’s music have largely confined themselves to his orchestral and piano works (as well as his magnum opus, a Requiem Mass), but transfers of a dusty 78 show him having enormous fun with the Scherzo of Dvořák’s Piano Quintet.

This set redresses the balance and reveals Sgambati as a chamber musician no less accomplished in composition than performance, within the German tradition that he worked hard to introduce to Italian concert societies: Mendelssohn and Schumann are keynote influences here. The first string quartet and piano quintets are early works, dating from 1864 and 1866
respectively; the latter written in the fairly unusual key of F minor (think Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony) for which Sgambati appears to have had a special fondness, given the many piano pieces he also composed in that key.

The second string quartet (1882) and piano quintet (1876) are more chromatically developed to embrace some of Wagner’s idiom (Sgambati also wrote a concert overture on the subject of Rienzi); and when Wagner heard Sgambati give a performance of the quintet at the Royal Court of Savoy he was sufficiently impressed to suggest to his publisher Schott that they also publish Sgambati’s work. This proved to be a turning point in Sgambati’s career, as well as the beginning of a friendship between the two composers.

Roberto Plano’s previous disc for Brilliant Classics, of the piano music of Smetana (BC94788), won warm critical appreciation;

Giovanni Sgambati (1841-1914) was an important composer of 19th- century Italy. A pupil and disciple of Franz Liszt he was one of the most brilliant pianists of his day. However, he was a composer, a conductor, a teacher and a patron as well, composing symphonies and chamber music in a country where opera was predominant.
Sgambati’s musical language is romantic pur sang. Rooted in the German tradition of Mendelssohn and Schumann he was further influenced by his great mentor Franz Liszt and by Wagner (as so many in that age).
This 2CD set contains two string quartets and the two piano quintets, impressive works of substantial length, richly textured and full of instrumental virtuosity.
Excellent performances by Italian forces, the great pianist Roberto Plano (a Van Cliburn Competition winner) and the Quartetto Noferini.

Sgambati: Piano Quintets & String Quartets

String Quartet in D Minor 21:43
I. Allegro moderato 5:51
II. Allegro 6:21
III. Romanza: Andante 4:48
IV. Allegro assai e appassionato 4:43

Piano Quintet No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 5 41:20
I. Andante - Vivace 13:27
II. Barcarola (Allegretto con moto) 8:45
III. Andante 10:14
IV. Allegro vivace 8:54

String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 17 31:06
I. Adagio - Vivace ma non troppo 12:02
II. Prestissimo 3:30
III. Andante sostenuto 8:52
IV. Allegro 6:42

Giovanni Sgambati: Piano Quintet No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 4 46:20
I. Adagio - Allegro ma non troppo 12:19
II. Vivacissimo 7:37
III. Andante sostenuto 10:21
IV. Allegro moderato