Album at a Glance
Hans Huber Quintet and Sextet for Winds and Piano
Musiques Suisses presents a second CD dedicated to the chamber music of Hans Huber (1852-1921). The previous one (MSS 6257) gave us the Quartet for Piano & Strings and the Quintet for Piano & Strings. This new release, also of chamber music with piano, offers the composer's music for winds - a quintet and a sextet both scored for flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon, with an oboe as the fifth wind instrument in the sextet.
There is not very much of Huber's music available on CD; what there is comes primarily from the Swedish label Sterling and Swiss label Musiques Suisses. Huber's orchestral music has been recorded by Jörg Peter Weigle with the Stuttgart Philharmonic on Sterling. American Record Guide wrote of it "This is music by a man with a big heart, and it can't help but cheer you up." The same can be said of his chamber music for winds, which is lively and inventive, rooted in folk music with sprightly rhythms and colorful harmonies. He has a predilection for triple meters, not only in his short, quick scherzos, but also in his big outer movements. Seamlessly integrated brief interludes that contrast in tempo and mood keep the listening experience fresh and interesting.
This is the only currently available recording of both pieces, so we are fortunate to have them in such fine performances. I don't see in the album notes that the performing ensemble has given itself a name, but they are exceptional players, with associations to the orchestras of Prague, Cologne, Berlin, Basle and Zurich. Pianist Konstantin Lifschitz is joined by Kaspar Zehnder, flute, Christian Hommel, oboe, Stephan Siegenthaler, clarinet, Olivier Darbellay, horn and Matthias Buhlmann, bassoon. Listeners who enjoy romantic chamber music for winds, by Reinecke for example, would enjoy this music too.
Hans Huber was, together with Hermann Suter and Friedrich Hegar, a leading musical personality in German-speaking Switzerland at the turn of the 20th Century. Huber wrote The Sextet in 1898 during a busy period, when he was teaching private lessons and held various offices at the Basel Choral Society. The work was first performed on 11 June 1900 as part of a solo concert of the association in the music hall of the Casino Basel together with works by Dvorak, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Joachim ray. The Quintet for piano, flute, clarinet, horn and bassoon was written in 1914 and was under Dess 19th Swiss Composers Festival. It premiered 15 June 1918 at Lausanne's Theatre by Paul Otto Moeckel, piano, and four members of the Zurich Tonhalle.
Quintet and Sextet for Winds and Piano
Sextet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano in B flat major: Adagio non troppo, Allegro molto vivace, Adagio ma non troppo, Allegro vivace con brio; Quintet for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Piano in E flat major, Opus 136: Adagio con intimo sentimento, Scherzo - Allegretto, Intermezzo - Allegro con fuoco, Allegro moderato.
A co-production with Swiss Radio and Television (GAS 2)
Source: Musiques Suisses
Composer: Hans Huber
Hans Huber (28 June 1852 – 25 December 1921) was a composer from Switzerland who, between 1894 and 1918 Huber composed five operas. His piano concertos are slightly unusual for the form in that they have four movements (scherzos are included in addition to the usual fast, slow, and fast tempo movements). He also wrote a set of 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 100, for piano four-hands in all the keys.
Flute: Kaspar Zehnder
Kaspar Zehnder has been the artistic director of the Symphony Orchestra in Biel (Orchestre symphonique Bienne) since the start of the 2012/13 season and the artistic director of the Murten Classics Summer Festival since 1999.
Oboe: Christian Hommel
Christian Hommel studied the oboe in Freiburg with Heinz Holliger and the piano with James Avery. He was a prizewinner at the Geneva International Music Competition and at the Trieste Oboe Competition and received various other awards and prizes, including the scholarship of the German Music Council in 1985, the 1987 German Music Competition prize and the 1988 prize of the Wiesbaden Mozart Society.
Clarinet: Stephan Siegenthaler
Stephan Siegenthaler was born in Switzerland and has studied at the Music Academy of Bern with Kurt Weber from 1976 to 1980. After receiving his certificate, he went for 1 year to Detmold in Germany, where he studied with Professor Jost Michaels and Professor Hans Klaus at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie.
Horn: Olivier Darbellay
Oliver Darbellay was born in Bern and grew up in a musical family. He studied the cello at the Bern Conservatory with Patrick Demenga and Peter Hörr as well as the horn with Thomas Müller in Bern and Basel. He completed his horn studies with Bruno Schneider in Freiburg i.Br., graduating “with excellence”.
Piano: Konstantin Lifschitz
Konstantin Lifschitz was born December 10, 1976, in Kharkov. As a child, he became irresistibly attracted to the piano, playing by ear and improvising with total absorption for hours on end. This aptitude for his chosen instrument was so remarkable that at age five he enrolled in the renowned Moscow Gnessin Special Middle School of Music, studying with Tatiana Zelikman.
|Bassoon: Matthias Bühlmann|
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