Wölfl: The String Quartets - Pratum Integrum Orchestra Soloists
Caro Mitis CM 0032006
Classical - Chamber
Joseph Wölfl: String Quartet in E flat major Op. 30 No. 1, String Quartet in C major Op. 30 No. 2, String Quartet in D major Op. 30 No. 3
Pratum Integrum Orchestra Soloists:
Sergei Filchenko (violin)
Dmitry Sinkovsky (violin)
Sergei Tischenko (viola)
Pavel Serbin (cello)
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Review by Mark Novak - July 22, 2009
This is my first experience with the Caro Mitis label and I must say that this is among the very best recordings of a string quartet that I've heard. Up to now, I've not purchased anything from the label because they seem to be focusing their repertoire on baroque and early classical period works which don't interest me all that much these days. Joseph Wolfl, on the other hand, was born three years after Beethoven so I was willing to hear what he had to say via the string quartet medium. As one might expect, the three quartets represented here fall somewhere between late Haydn and middle period LvB in style and substance. I found all three the 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 and commit them to SACD.
The recording itself is fantastic! The ensemble was recorded in a Russian TV & Radio studio by the Polyhymnia team (the one's that do new recordings for Pentatone) 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 ambience to create a judicious blend. Very, very impressive. Needless to say - highly recommended.
Copyright © 2009 Mark Novak and HRAudio.net