This recording forms part of a series of a series of reissues celebrating the glorious Decca recordings from the 1950s-1970s of the Wiener Oktett (Vienna Octet), made up of key principals from the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Five titles were released in September and the remaining five are released this month.
The Vienna Octet recorded just three works by Dvorák – two String Quintets and the A major String Sextet – all of which are included here. They are here coupled with his most popular String Quartet, the so-called ‘American’ in a performance by the Janáček Quartet that has never been out of the catalogue, and a first release on CD, the Bagatelles for the unusual combination of two violins, cello and harmonium – delightful little pieces with the Vienna Philharmonia Quintet’s recording here receiving its first release on CD.
Tully Potter’s informative liner notes focus on both, the music and the musicians on this anthology.
String Sextet in A major, Op. 48
String Quintet in G major, Op. 77
String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97
String Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 ‘American’
Bagatelles, Op. 47
Vienna Philharmonia Quintet
Recording Producers: James Mallinson (Opp. 48, 77, 97); Ray Minshull (Op. 96); Christopher Raeburn (Op. 47)
Balance Engineers: Tryggvi Tryggvason (Opp. 48, 77, 97); Kenneth Wilkinson (Op. 96); Philip Wade (Op. 47)
Recording Locations: Decca Studio 3, West Hampstead, London, UK, October 1963 (Op. 96); Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, October 1969 (Op. 77), May 1975 (Op. 47), April 1971 (Opp. 48, 97)
‘the recording, clean and warm-toned, is the equal of the playing’ (Dvorak Quintet, Op. 77) Gramophone
‘most sensitively handled’ (Dvorak Quintet Op. 97) Gramophone
‘the finest and best recorded performance [of the “American” Quartet]’ Gramophone