Antonín Rejcha (1770-1836) - Wind Quintet in E flat major, Op. 88 No. 2; Wind Quintet in E minor, Op. 88 No. 1, Wind Quintet in D major, Op. 91 No. 3
Belfiato Quintet: Oto Reiprich - flute, Jan Souček - oboe, Jiří Javůrek - clarinet, Ondřej Šindelář - bassoon, Kateřina Javůrková - horn
Following their critically acclaimed debut album (Foerster, Janáček, Haas; SU 4230-2; Musicweb International Disc of the Month, Tip Harmonie), the Belfiato Quintet have gone back a century in time, to the "father of the wind quintet" Antonín Rejcha's life was adventurous and turbulent indeed. When he was 10, he ran away from his Prague home, and would live in turn in Bonn, Hamburg and Vienna, before finally settling in Paris. He presented his first symphony at the tender age of 17. Rejcha became a friend of Beethoven's, who played the viola in the same orchestra, he made the acquaintance with Haydn, and his teachers included Salieri. A keen experimenter, he liked to write in quintuple time, was fascinated by Gypsy music with micro-intervals, playing with numbers and chords, polyrhythm, polytonality and counterpoint. Moreover, he was an accomplished theorist and a renowned teacher, also working as a professor at the Conservatoire de Paris. His students included Liszt, Berlioz, Franck and other distinguished composers. Rejcha was the first to write truly masterful wind quintets, making full use of the instruments' timbres and technical potential. Notwithstanding its being challenging to perform, his music comes across as bright, airy and gracious. The Belfiato Quintet selected three - the most beautiful and most engrossing - of Rejcha's 24 wind quintets, which they have recorded at the acoustically exceptionable Rudolfinum hall in Prague. It would seem that the virtuoso and passionate musicians have found in Rejcha a kindred spirit. It's one hell of a ride...
Wigs, hats and gloves off - this is (like) playing for life itself!