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ON 4006
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ON 4006

Schubert: Octet D 803

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2006

Originally recorded in 2006


Mullova Ensemble

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Total Time - 63:05
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Octet D 803

  For clarinet, bassoon, horn, string quartet and double-bass  
1 Adagio - Allegro 15:04
2 Adagio 12:02
3 Allegro vivace - Trio 6:40
4 Andante con variazioni 12:04
5 Menuetto: Allegretto - Trio 7:30
6 Andante molto - Allegro 9:45
  Viktoria Mullova violin I  
  Adrian Chamorro violin II  
  Erich Krüger viola  
  Manuel Fischer-Dieskau cello  
  Klaus Stoll double bass  
  Pascal Moraguès clarinet  
  Marco Postinghel bassoon  
  Guido Corti horn  

An outstanding release from Viktoria Mullova’s own chamber group, the Mullova Ensemble, already awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine.
With a group of like-minded musicians, Viktoria Mullova formed her chamber group The Mullova Ensemble in 1994, with an inaugural tour of Italy. The Ensemble has since toured Germany, Spain, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands with an exciting blend of scholarship and virtuosity . This is the group’s second CD- their previous CD  of  Bach Violin Concertos on Philips Classics received high praise.
Mullova’s first solo CD on Onyx (ONYX4001) of Vivaldi violin concertos with Il Giardino Armonico has won prizes  worldwide, including Diapason d’Or de L’Année in France and Editor’s Choice in Gramophone

 "A spacious performance, enthralling and poetic: it leaves behind the world of happy Viennese music-making (best exemplified on disc, perhaps, by the famous 1957 Vienna Octet recording). Instead, we have a view of the Octet as one of Schubert’s major achievments, sharing much common ground with the other great chamber works of 1824, the A minor and D minor string quartets.
The Adagio is taken unusually slowly, but without any feeling of the rhythm sagging – the effect is unexpectedly profound and meditative. The following Scherzo is unhurried, too, yet is still full of spirit; it’s beautifully poised, with each phrase convincingly shaped. There’s only one movement, the Minuet, where the measured approach is maybe overdone; it’s marked Allegretto, after all, and here the effect is distinctly languid. However, the romantic feeling of the first movement’s introductory Adagio is perfectly captured, and the corresponding slow introduction to the finale, whose melodrama can sometimes sound like a tongue-in cheek shock tactic, emerges here as one extreme of a multi-faceted yet perfectly unified work.
And the thoughtful shaping of phrases isn’t confined to the Scherzo; it’s present throughout, keeping us constantly aware of the music’s expressive power. Even when these inflections seem slightly contentious – in the finale’s main theme, for example – they contribute to a constant feeling of lively communication.
The solo portrait of Viktoria Mullova on the CD cover gives a very misleading impression; the Mullova Ensemble is in fact particularly strong as a team, and it’s notable how she and Pascal Moraguès realise a sense of joint leadership."

Duncan Druce

Gramophone - February 2006

"You won’t hear a more perfect performance of this perennially fresh piece than this one. Tempos sound invariably right, ensemble balances are perfect, and every player characterizes his or her part with affection, charm, and taste. Klaus Stoll’s double bass lends the necessary extra weight to the general sonority, and the playing of clarinetist Pascal Moraguès is beyond praise. In the central variation movement his dialogue with horn player Guido Corti is so beautiful, so elegant, that it might well bring tears to your eyes.
But the performance isn’t all exquisite sonorities and rounded edges. There’s plenty of rhythmic verve, both in the first movement as well as the scherzo. Nor has the dark introduction to the finale ever been caught so fearlessly. The work’s 63 minutes pass by with nary a dead spot, and the interpretation is supported at every turn by ideally balanced, warmly natural sonics that put the players right before you in a spacious but not too reverberant acoustic. The music itself is so disarming that it’s tempting to just sit back and wallow in its sheer euphony, but this really is an interpretation that lives up to the very highest standards of taste and musicianship. Buy it, and enjoy.  10/10"

[4/17/2006]  - David Hurwitz

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