The Best Chamber Music Performance, Classic Prague Award (2020)
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!
“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…” My Classical Notes, August 2019
“Trois des Quintettes de Reicha merveilleusement servis par ce groupe où la cohérence et la cohésion le disputent à l’expression de chaque individualité, servent d’ambassadeurs et de mise en appétit à cette production.” ResMusica, November 2019
“Belfiato offers pleasant timbres, sensitive phrasing, nimble technique, and a marvelous blend in tutti sections. The interpretations tend to emphasize the classical elements of the music, creating moments of genuine beauty and charm…” American Record Guide, January/February 2020
“A strong alternative to the Albert Schweitzer and Westwood Quintet versions of these three quintets. Most enjoyable.” Fanfare, March/April 2020
“The Belfiato Quintet are excellent throughout, theirs is a more detailed and enlightening performance, one that shows this wonderful music off to its best. You get a real sense that they are enjoying playing this music, something which is not always the case with other recordings of these works… A wonderful recording, the best I have heard of Rejcha’s wind quintet’s, but one that left me with a sense of longing; longing for more from the Belfiato Quintet, highly recommended.” MusicWeb International, May 2020