WORKS: String Quartet in B flat, K458 (Hunt); Oboe Quartet in F, K370; Horn Quintet in E flat, K407
PERFORMER: Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Stephen Bell (horn), Lindsay String Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 968
The ‘Hunt’ Quartet, the fourth of Mozart’s six ‘Haydn’ Quartets, receives a capable performance from the Lindsays. The 6/8 hunting rhythm of the first movement romps along playfully, while the courtly Menuet is urbane and graceful. Early promise isn’t quite matched in the serene Adagio; there’s some lumpy, unsympathetic phrasing here, especially in later variants of the principal subject. The dashing three-theme finale is energetically played, completing an alert, attractive performance with enough zest and fire to offset occasional weaknesses.
The Lindsays are joined by oboist Nicholas Daniel in a well-ordered, mercurial account of Mozart’s Oboe Quartet. Daniel’s breath control and fine technique are eloquently displayed in the heart-rending D minor Adagio, and his infectiously spirited treatment of the Rondeau finale soon restores the genial mood.
The Horn Quintet calls for an unorthodox string group with two violas. Composed for the Salzburg horn virtuoso (and cheese-merchant) Johann Leutgeb in 1782, its carefree atmosphere disguises its difficulties. Stephen Bell plays splendidly, and the Lindsays provide solid, discreet support, in a performance lacking only the last ounce of refinement. Michael Jameson