V1: Oboe Quartets

Album cover art for upc 761203517121
Label: CPO
Catalog: 555171-2

Grundmann Quartet

Georg Druschetzky is a name that people who know their music history associate with charming but innocuous wind partitas and truly out-of-the-ordinary concertos for six, seven, or eight timpani and orchestra. The latter category comes as no surprise; after all, Druschetzky was an “Upper Austrian Regional Timpanist” (a title actually bestowed on him in Linz in 1776), and so why shouldn’t he offer compositional tribute to his instrument? But there’s more: Druschetzky enjoyed a successful career that took him all the way to the court of the Palatine of Hungary, Archduke Joseph von Habsburg, in Ofen (today’s Buda), where he held the posts of court composer and music director and wrote masses, symphonies, two operas, and numerous chamber compositions. His chamber works include a cycle of ten oboe quartets (1807-8) from his late years that make an astonishing and lasting listening impression – because of his rich imagination and his compositional wit and spirited harmonic daredevilry that we otherwise encounter only in the “surprise artist” Haydn. This discovery is so significant that we in any case intend to present all ten quartets in congenial recordings by the Grundmann Quartet on historical instruments. The present release is volume 1 in this project.

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