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Chamber Music - Released August 7, 2020 | Avie Records

Hi-Res Booklet
The chamber ensemble Night Music gets extra points for the program here: in a historical performance landscape full of hypothetical programs, the group has unearthed and performed an actual one. It took place in Vienna in 1801 at a salon attended by Caroline Pichler, already a noted historical novelist. Some of her comments are included, and she was a perceptive observer. The music is neither light background stuff nor on the progressive cutting edge that one would hear a few years later when Beethoven attended Pichler's salons. The standout is probably the Quintet for flute and strings in D major of composer Joseph Martin Kraus, with its sizable and well-organized 14-minute opening movement. The Duetto for viola and violone of Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf was a light work of the moment; Dittersdorf had died two years earlier, and his autobiography seems to have been a kind of book club entry for the salon. The Duetto is a delicate little divertimento-type work more concerned with texture than melody. Perhaps less successful is the arrangement of the Haydn Symphony No. 94, Hob. 1/94 ("Surprise") for flute and strings by none other than Johann Peter Salomon, the composer/entrepreneur who arranged Haydn's London trips. Those wondering how the introduction of a concerto-like element fits with the structure of the symphony, like the fortissimo chord that gives the symphony its nickname, will find that, well, it really doesn't fit. However, the sheer existence of this arrangement is of considerable interest and shows just what length people of the time would go to in order to hear their favorite music at home. The church sound is a disincentive here, with all the atmosphere of a high school swimming pool, but this is an authentic performance that truly lives up to the word. © TiVo