Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'For a start, these pieces are so irresistibly tuneful, and then there's the humour - less suave, sometimes edgier than Mozart's, but at times winningly delicate.'
more >>
MusicWeb International
'In every way these are exemplary performances in clear, close, but warm sound of some of Beethoven’s lighter music, which warrant an enthusiastic recommendation from me.'
more >>
'The Sextet, too, is marvellously done here – fluent, articulate and sensitively shaped, with delicious interleaving of phrases in the rambunctious finale.'
more >>
'... a lot of freshness, vitality and color.'
more >>
The Scotsman
5 Stars
'...a showstopper, where the very stuff of theatre – its tensions and releases, its compelling narrative vitality and emotional nuances – is played out in scintillating musical terms.'
more >>
'The musicians not only impress individually, but also harmonize as an ensemble.'
more >>
The Herald
'...the line-up on this recording is particularly impressive...'
more >>
MusicWeb International
'You couldn’t hope for more masterful, affable guides.'
more >>
Financial Times
4 Stars
'The wind soloists of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra make a lovely job of them and throw in a handful of pleasing miniatures to fill the disc.'
more >>
BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’
'All the wit and character of all the individual players coming through but yet still at the service of the whole ensemble. Something close to a perfect balance of individuality and team spirit.'
more >>

SCO Winds - Beethoven: Music for Winds - The Wee Review (Live)

16 February 2018
The Wee Review
Hugh Kerr
4 Stars

This weekend sees a feast of chamber music in Edinburgh taking place in different venues. The first of these is a concert by the wind soloists of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who are celebrating their latest album launch. It is also a chance to say farewell to principal bassoonist, Peter Whelan, who is moving on after ten years with the SCO. This afternoon, he is accompanied by Robin Williams and Rosie Staniforth oboes, Maximiliano Martín and William Stafford clarinets, Alison Green bassoon, and Alec Frank-Gemmill and Harry Johnstone horns. Their latest album is of Beethoven’s wind music, and this afternoon’s concert is bookended by Beethoven’s wind sextet to begin and his wind octet to finish.

Beethoven’s sextet for wind was written in 1796 in Vienna, but wasn’t performed until around ten years later. The work is composed of four traditional movements, and is very light and Mozartian in style. It is beautifully played by the six wind soloists of the SCO.

This is followed by a rather more contemporary and challenging work by Poulenc, written in 1922. A duo for clarinet and bassoon, it is in three parts, with a fast introduction and finale, with some challenging music reminiscent of Stravinsky, but with a melodic central part.

After the interval, we hear a sextet from Hungarian composer Seiber, written in 1925. He was a pupil of Kodály, and later became famous for his film scores including Animal Farm and a A Town Like Alice. His sextet incorporates much Hungarian folk music, as Kodály and Bartók’s music does, and after a slow central movement it ends with a traditional and lively march.

The concert finishes with a Beethoven octet written in 1792, and although clearly influenced by Haydn, it shows the early promise of this great composer. The wind soloists of the SCO demonstrate why they are Scotland’s, and indeed one of Britain’s, finest chamber ensembles, and clearly Peter Whelan will be much missed. 

Bookmark and Share

Related Links

Alec Frank-GemmillAlec Frank-Gemmill
Ludwig van BeethovenLudwig van Beethoven
Maximiliano MartinMaximiliano Martin
Peter WhelanPeter Whelan
Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
Beethoven: Music for WindsBeethoven: Music for Winds