SCO Winds - Beethoven: Music for Winds - The Scotsman

There is something unquestionably operatic about Beethoven’s Sextet in E flat major for wind instruments. The themes sigh, dance, laugh and bicker like colourful characters on the stage. Some performances miss the point, others simply take it for granted, but this one by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Soloists is 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. Take the wit and bounce of the bassoons, the languid teasing of the clarinets, or the poignant knowingness of the horns. All have biting relevance in this delightful opener to a treasure trove of Music for Winds by Beethoven. The ensemble playing throughout is a magical mix of homogeneity and individuality. When the oboes enter for the Octet in E flat, the sound world both brightens and thickens: another delicious and virtuosic musical adventure.

The Scotsman
20 March 2018