Joseph Wölfl, once a popular composer and pianist, hailed from Salzburg. When Wölfl was born in 1773 his brilliant countryman Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was employed by the archbishop of Salzburg. The young composer had the good fortune to study with Mozart’s father Leopold and also with the brother of another Viennese classic composer, Michael Haydn. After receiving an excellent professional training Wölfl became a versatile musician. As a pianist he took part in competitions with Beethoven – according to Seyfried, these ‘duels between two giants’ gave the listening public extraordinary satisfaction, while as a composer Wölfl wrote masterpieces in every genre, showing exceptional diversity of style.
Like Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, he was unable to resist the cultural magnetism of the Imperial capital. At the age of seventeen Wölfl declared his independence by setting off for Vienna to see Mozart. Quite possibly the latter showed sincere concern for the fate of his young countryman, for it was apparently under Mozart’s protection that Wölfl found employment with Count Oginski and moved to Warsaw. Here he began his concert performances and soon gained a reputation as an outstanding pianist.
Total time: 01:10:05
Microphones – Neumann km130 DPA (B & K) 4006 ; DPA (B & K) 4011 SCHOEPS mk2S ; SCHOEPS mk41
|Original Recording Format|
Erdo Groot, Roger de Schot
5th Studio of The Russian Television and Radio
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||November 6, 2015|
I must say that this is among the very best recordings of a string quartet that I’ve heard. I found all three String Quartets to be enjoyable, distinctive and yes, even somewhat inventive at times. The performances by this ad hoc quartet of members from the Pratum Integrum Orchestra are excellent. Wolfl composed 18 string quartets and I sincerely hope that these players will select three more of this quality.
The recording itself is fantastic! The ensemble was recorded in a Russian TV & Radio studio by the Polyhymnia International BV team and the end results are excellent. One of the things I like best about this recording (and which is lacking in so many string quartet recordings) is that fullness and bloom of the cello sound. The rest of the strings are handled with naturalness and the whole ensemble is given just enough ambiance to create a judicious blend. Very, very impressive. Needless to say – highly recommended.
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