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Winds Quintets by Ferenc Farkas

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 Wind Quintets By Ferenc Farkas: Music That Deserves To Be Much Better Known

Chamber music next, and an attractive disc from a somewhat unknow composer. Ferenc Farkas (1905-2000) was one of the longest-lived members of the wave of Hungarian nationalist composers which began with the rise of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. A student of Ottorino Respighi in Rome, Farkas blended Respighi’s Latin melodiousness with the Magyar folk-heritage that Bartók and Kodály had made the central element of Hungarian music. His Old Hungarian Dances of the 17th Century have become a staple of the wind-quintet repertoire and the other five works on this disk display the same irrepressible joie de vivre.
 
The Phoebus Quintet are our accomplished guide and comprise Christoph Bösch, flute, Barbara Zumthurn-Nünlist, oboe, Dimitri Ashkenazy, clarinet, Martin Roos, horn and Susan Landert, bassoon. 
 
I'm afraid the only clip I can find is from a different quintet in live performance via a Festival in Sicily. The music is what matters but the holiday snaps of the quintet that accompany it might whet your appetite for a trip abroad!
 
“In volume of output, Ferenc Farkas (1905-2000) is something of a Hungarian Villa-Lobos, and his Serenade from 1951 has a touch of the Brazilian composer's fluid fecundity of invention. The Phoebus Quintet perform with deftness, wit and nimble mastery. It's an old cliché of critical special pleading, I know, but here is music which really does deserve to be much better known.”

BBC Music Magazine, August 2006 *****
This article was last updated on Fri, Nov. 23 2012

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