The music of Beethoven and his unfairly neglected contemporaries forms an important focus in the explorations of the faraway sound of the romantic era by the five instrumentalists of the Ardinghello Ensemble. Led by flautist Karl Kaiser, the ensemble presents the recording premiere of Andreas Romberg’s flute quintets – most highly individual compositions full of surprises on the threshold of romanticism.
The instrumentation of the flute quintets is fascinating in itself. While the practice of the times usually called for a string trio to join the flute, Romberg prescribes a second viola and takes on the greatest instrumental challenge of all. His model was not the light divertimento but the serious form of the string quartet manifesting itself in Mozart’s masterpieces of this genre. The two violas produce an earthy sound breaking the silvery brightness of the flute and violin. Very much in keeping with the dawning romantic era, surprising innovations stamp the music.
On trips to Vienna and London Romberg repeatedly met with Joseph Haydn. The grand old master of course profoundly influenced the younger composer’s music and the Ardinghello Ensemble does an absolutely magnificent job, scoring a genuine coup with its recording of Andreas Romberg’s three flute quintets. Captured in the best MDG sound, these long-forgotten masterpieces experience an impressive revival and make us look forward to their sequel!