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Beethoven Septet and Sextet

Beethoven. Septet in E Flat Op 20
Beethoven. Sextet in E Flat Op 81b

The Gaudier Ensemble

Helios CDH55189 (TT 56.35)

This CD was originally released on Hyperion in 1992 and features a fine account of the Septet for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, cello and double bass.

The less known Sextet (for two horns, two violins, viola and cello) although it has a later opus number than the Septet was in fact written four or five years earlier and is a simpler, less refined piece. It is light hearted and radiates fun and good companionship between the musicians. There are also offers many opportunities for the two horn players (Jonathan Williams and Phillip Eastop) to shine.

The choice of the Sextet to accompany the better known Septet is also an excellent one as it allows us to hear the development that Beethoven made between the mid 1790s and the early 1800s.

Mark Dennis

© Peter Grahame Woolf