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WORKS: Nonet in F; Octet in B flat, Op. 156
PERFORMER: Consortium Classicum/Dieter Klöcker
CATALOGUE NO: 999 803-2 ADD Reissue (1974)
The South German composer Franz Lachner’s life spanned nearly the entire 19th century. He is famous as Schubert’s most intimate friend in Vienna and as a composer of an impressive body of song. Both of these chamber works, however, date from well after Schubert’s death, and indeed after Lachner’s return in 1836 to Munich, where he conducted the Hofoper and became an important figure in that city’s music-making. The Nonet for mixed wind and string ensemble was written at the age of 72, after Lachner’s official retirement; the Octet, for wind (including horns) and optional double bass comes from his late forties. Both show a fluency and ease in a style which, at the time they were written, must have seemed decidedly old-fashioned. Hard to detect the darker, more spiritual qualities of Schubert’s music (though the booklet-note writer finds a certain melancholy in the Octet), and equally hard to believe that, had Schubert lived as long as his friend, he would have still been composing in similar vein. But there’s plenty of character in the ideas and language, and Consortium Classicum under Dieter Klöcker give suave, naturally recorded, well-shaped perfomances. Stephen Pettitt