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Crescendo
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« Comme souvent dans les interprétations « historiques », c'est l'indépendance des lignes qui est exploitée plutôt qu'une parfaite fusion des timbres. Mais si chaque musicien est à son tour soliste, les équilibres sont parfaitement réglés et les mélodies ressortent sans effort. Leur verve défend donc joyeusement cette musique sans prétention qu'on écoute avec plaisir. »
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Thalia Ensemble - Reicha: Wind Quintets - Hi-Fi News


01 August 2016
Hi-Fi News
C. Breunig (Music); P. Miller (Lab)
4 Stars

A fellow-pupil with Beethoven in Bonn, Antoine Reicha (from Prague) wrote no fewer than 24 wind quintets, represented here by an Adagio for cor anglais and wind quartet and Quintets in G and B-flat. Eight CPO download volumes from the late-1980s cover the complete output, but the young artists here were recorded in York by Philip Hobbs in July 2014. Formed in Amsterdam three years earlier, the Thalia Ensemble plays historic or period copy instruments - and very well too. Reicha set some devilish tasks for the natural horn in particular: trills and rapidly repeated notes in the D-Minor Adagio, for instance. In its time, listeners would probably be socialising, with only half an ear to the music and perhaps this genre is of greater interest to players than to audiences. Hobbs has provided a wide soundstage with the instruments clearly delineated. CB

Sound quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Another fine 192kHz recording by Philip Hobbs, available in several resolutions from MP3 up to the 192kHz/24-bit download tested here. In practice, the 96kHz version should capture as much ‘real' musical information. PM


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