Reicha: Wind Quintets / Thalia Ensemble

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The young Thalia Ensemble erupted into the public spotlight with their being chosen as winners at the prestigious biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition. Their debut release spotlights the compositions of Antoine Reicha. Regarded as a pre-eminent composer for winds, Reicha , a flautist had an uncanny gift of melding the various wind instruments into a rich sonic tapestry in his compositions and the Thalia Ensemble’s inspired and dynamic playing proves to be a perfect match with the lively Wind Quintets.


The name Antoine Reicha is one which has fairly comprehensively slipped between the floorboards of musical history, except for within one select circle of musicians, wind players. With them Reicha's wind music, and in particular his wind quintets, has remained current and provides a useful and engaging program filler. The present CD brings us two wind quintets and an Adagio for wind quartet and obligato cor anglais all played on period instruments of the early 19th century. This final detail may seem relatively unimportant in these days of the ubiquity of period performances, but in this case it was a major factor in my enjoyment of the CD. While tuneful and accessible, Reicha's music is occasionally accused of blandness, but when the Thalia Ensemble moved into the more chromatic passages of these works the music became imbued with considerable individuality. As a flute player himself, Reicha writes beautifully for the flute, but what is perhaps most striking is his mastery of the wind quintet as an entity - perhaps not since Mozart and not until Nielsen did anyone write such accomplished chamber music for winds. 5 stars.

– Early Music Review

These are infectious works, intended not to provoke but simply to delight, and in these elegantly shaped performances they do just that.

– Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: CKD471

  • UPC: 691062047128

  • Label: Linn Records

  • Composer: Antoine Reicha

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Thalia Ensemble