Belfiato Quintet: Oto Reiprich - flute, Jan Souček - oboe, Jiří Javůrek - clarinet, Ondřej Šindelář - bassoon, Kateřina Javůrková - horn. Jindřich Pavliš, as a guest - bass clarinet (Janáček)
The Belfiato Quintet are yet another exciting Czech chamber ensemble active in the international arena. The members of the young wind quintet perform with renowned orchestras (the Czech Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, etc.), and both as individuals and collectively have garnered accolades at competitions (Kateřina Javůrková's victory at the ARD Munich, first prize for the Belfiato Quintet at the competition in Semmering, Austria, etc.). This acclaim, however, has not gone to their heads, with their performances above all revealing their attitude: "We enjoy it!" The debut studio album, which they have recorded 12 years after the ensemble's foundation, exclusively features Czech music dating from the first half of the 20th century. J. B. Foerster composed the Wind Quintet (his most frequently performed instrumental piece) in 1909 to commission for a virtuoso ensemble formed by the members of the Wiener Philharmoniker. The work by Janáček's pupil Pavel Haas, written two decades later, bears traces of inspiration by folk music, Janáček, as well as Stravinsky. When listening to the piece, it is difficult indeed to resign oneself to the chilling fact that this immense young talent was silenced for ever at Auschwitz. Leoš Janáček had created his wind sextet Youth just five years previously. Owing to the music teeming with joie de vivre, prevailing over languor and melancholia, one is hard pressed to believe that the artist was 70 years of age when he composed it. Youth - how apt for the Belfiato Quintet, an ensemble sparkling with energy and inspiration!
Joy, playfulness, inspiration, virtuosity - the Belfiato Quintet and their debut CD.
“This youthful Czech ensemble is continuing a great tradition. All admirers of Czech orchestras will recognise the special qualities of Czech wind playing; pliantly expressive reeds, fresh, pure flute sound, and creamy horn tone with just a tasteful hint of vibrato. All those characteristics are present in the playing of the Belfiato Quintet – the name means, appropriately, ‘beautiful wind’ – together with outstanding levels of individual brilliance, and an unshakably secure sense of ensemble. This is superlative wind playing.” MusicWeb International, August 2017
“Janáček’s Mládí … Eccentric but irresistible – this little piece will brighten anyone’s day… All lovely. Your shelves are possibly overladen with box sets of string quartets. Kickstart your wind quintent subsection with this marvellous disc.” The Arts Desk, 19th August 2017
“Given that the performances by the young members of the Belfiato Quintet are so fine, the recording so sympathetic and the booklet so attractive … this disc offers pure unadulterated pleasure.” MusicWeb International, November 2017
“The young players of the Belfiato Quintet uphold the fine tradition of Czech wind playing: impressive technical and emotional facility and a sonorous and beautiful blend of sound. In this program they display sensitivity to ensemble balance, always allowing the important lines to emerge.” American Record Guide, February 2018