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Sunday, June 4, 2017

George Onslow - Nonet; Grand Septet (Consortium Classicum)


Composer: George Onslow
  1. Nonet in A minor, Op. 77: I. Allegro spirituoso
  2. Nonet in A minor, Op. 77: II. Scherzo. Agitato
  3. Nonet in A minor, Op. 77: III. Tema con Variazioni
  4. Nonet in A minor, Op. 77: IV. Finale. Largo - Allegretto quasi Allegro
  5. Grand Septuor in B flat major, Op. 79: I. Allegro moderato
  6. Grand Septuor in B flat major, Op. 79: II. Scherzo. Vivace
  7. Grand Septuor in B flat major, Op. 79: III. Andante. Molto cantabile e grazioso
  8. Grand Septuor in B flat major, Op. 79: IV. Finale. Allegretto

Consortium Classicum
Kornelia Brandkamp, flute
Gernot Schmalfuß, oboe (Septet)
Pavel Sokolov, oboe (Nonet)
Dieter Klöcker, clarinet
Jan Schroeder, horn
Helman Jung, bassoon (Nonet)
Albrecht Holder, bassoon (Septet)
Andreas Krecher, violin
Niklas Schwarz, viola
Armin Fromm, cello
Michinori Bunya, double bass (Septet)
Stefan Irmer, piano (Septet)

Date: 2008
Label: MDG



MD&G's ongoing discography dedicated to George Onslow (1784-1853) has reached its fifth instalment, and what a peach of a disc this is! Onslow had English and French noble blood running in his veins, and this was very evident in his cosmopolitan chamber works which were hugely popular.

Apart from his prowess as a composer, Onslow was also a prodigious pianist, and his performances were always well attended. Towards the end of his career he became enamoured with wind instruments, when technical advances aroused his interest in the genre.

The two works on this disc are the result of this keenness. The Nonet dates from 1846 and is dedicated to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband. In the Septet, Onslow gives considerable priority to the piano and the piece can actually be considered as a "quasi" piano concerto. The music is steeped in the great romantic tradition and contains some astonishing ensemble writing brimming with great melodic invention.

The Consortium Classicum and Stefan Irmer rise to the occasion with dashing enthusiasm and their amazing sense of unison gives the music a freshness and vigour of an almost symphonic nature. The recording and presentation are top drawer as we have come to expect from MD&G.

-- Gerald FenechClassical Net

More reviews:


George Onslow (27 July 1784 – 3 October 1853) was a French composer of English descent. His wealth, position and personal tastes allowed him to pursue a path unfamiliar to most of his French contemporaries, more similar to that of his contemporary German romantic composers; his music also had a strong following in Germany and in England. His principal output was chamber music but he also wrote four symphonies and four operas. Esteemed by many of the critics of his time, his reputation declined swiftly after his death and has only been revived in recent years.


The Consortium Classicum is a German chamber orchestra. In the early 1960s the clarinetist Dieter Klöcker founded the Consortium Classicum, a German chamber music ensemble to bring back to life rediscovered musical works. These works use only wind instruments as well as the combination of woodwinds and strings, up to nine players. The members of the ensemble are all soloists, professors from music academies and leaders from first class orchestras, who uphold the ensemble's concept in a very individual and consistent manner.


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