Amsterdam Sinfonietta Soloists – Schubert: String Quintet (2015) MCH SACD ISO + DSF DSD64 + Hi-Res FLAC

Amsterdam Sinfonietta Soloists – Schubert: String Quintet (2015)
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 52:10 minutes | Scans + Digital Booklet | 2,7 GB
or DSD64 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Scans + Digital Booklet | 2,06 GB
or FLAC 2.0 (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Scans + Digital Booklet | 1,03 GB
DSD Recording | Featues Stereo and Multichannel Surround Sound | Channel Classics # CSS SA 36215

One of the icons of chamber music, Schubert’s celebrated String Quintet is heard in an unusual version on this recording. Schubert’s work was styled after those of Boccherini and Onslow, which featured two violins, viola and two cellos. After hearing the double bass virtuoso Domenico Dragonetti, Onslow decided to add an alternative bass part to replace the second cello part. Schubert might have done the same if he had heard Dragonetti play, so the Amsterdam Sinfonietta commissioned this Marijn van Prooijen adaptation, and the double bass part is performed here by Rick Stotijn.

Do you want a recording of Schubert’s miraculous chamber swansong with a double bass taking the second cello part? That’s the first question you have to ask. In fact, the bass player is none other than Rick Stotijn, and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta have proved their brilliance time after time, so purely on its own terms this performance is a bit of a winner. And the ensemble’s biography in the booklet makes a slightly convoluted case for the exercise: Dragonetti was the bassist par excellence in those days and prompted George Onslow to provide alternative bass parts for the second cello in his quintets, which Schubert may well have known. So the ensemble commissioned this arrangement from Marijn van Prooijen, himself a bass player.

Stotijn, we are told, plays a small double bass with a high tuning in fourths and a top C string. The bass adds an extra gravitas, and Stotijn’s playing is so reactive that the work seems borne aloft, reminding one of the earlier Trout Quintet in places. And that wondrous second subject in the first movement – the cello duet with the viola providing the bassetto? Stotijn plays it at the original pitch. If you didn’t know, you’d easily mistake it for the real thing.

The performance itself is everything you’d expect of these players. Tempi seem apt and perhaps it’s only the filigree violin-work in the finale that seems slightly to evade the fingers. You’ll most likely have your favourite Schubert Quintet recording already; among recent groups who offer near-ideal recordings are the Belcea (EMI, 12/09) and Pavel Haas (Supraphon, 10/13) quartets with their guest cellists. So you simply have to ask yourself whether you want a fine recording with double bass.


01. String Quintet in C major, D 956 – op. posth. 163: I – Allegro ma non troppo
02. String Quintet in C major, D 956 – op. posth. 163: II – Adagio
03. String Quintet in C major, D 956 – op. posth. 163: III – Scherzo: Presto. Trio: Andante sostenuto
04. String Quintet in C major, D 956 – op. posth. 163: IV – Finale: Allegretto

Amsterdam Sinfonietta Soloists
Candida Thompson – violin
Jacobien Rozemond – violin
Daniel Bard – viola
Kaori Yamagami – cello
Rick Stotijn – double bass

Produced by Willem de Bordes. Engineered by Daan van Aalst.
Recorded on December 1-2, 2013 at Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden.
Edited & Mastered by Jared Sacks.




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