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The Boston Symphony Chamber Players

The Boston Symphony Chamber Players (RCA 19439946802)

It was inevitable that the Boston would spin off an ensemble from its elite roster of principals. The Boston Symphony Chamber Players were launched in 1964 during Erich Leinsdorf’s time at the helm. Starting that October, RCA recorded them regularly in Symphony Hall until the orchestra changed labels.  Ten LPs of chamber music were issued in four acclaimed releases. In a release dated August 26, 2022, Sony Classical presents them for the first time on CD.

The BSO’s ensemble of first-chair players includes longtime concertmaster Joseph Silverstein, oboist Ralph Gomberg, flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer, violist Burton Fine and cellist Jules Eskin.  Two two distinguished guest artists: Claude Frank and Richard Goode, share honors in the works with piano.

Of special interest is a bonus disc with music examples from the performances in this collection, hosted by actor/raconteur Peter Ustinov with Erich Leinsdorf and Joseph Silverstein.  The set also contains previously unreleased recordings of the Nonet by Ludwig Spohr Nonet and Samuel Barber’s Summer Music for wind quintet.

As High Fidelity magazine wrote: “The pleasures set forth here by the Boston Symphony’s formidably accomplished first-chair players are not come by every day, and almost never in a collection of such range and variety … This collection clearly provides a satisfying and enlarging musical experience for anyone interested in ensemble music.”

 

DISC 1:

Mozart: Flute Quartet in D Major, K. 285  

Mozart: Quartet in F Major, K.370: Allegro - Adagio - Rondo. Allegro  

Brahms: Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60  

 

DISC 2:

Beethoven: Serenade in D Major, Op. 25  

Fine: Fantasia for String Trio

Copland: Vitebsk (Study on a Jewish Theme)

Carter: Woodwind Quintet

Piston: Divertimento for Nine Instruments

 

DISC 3:

Mozart: Piano Quartet in G Minor, K. 478  

Mozart: Quintet In E-Flat Major for Piano and Winds, K. 452  

 

DISC 4:

Brahms: Trio in E-Flat Major for Horn, Violin and Piano, Op. 40  

Schubert: String Trio No. 1 in D Major, D. 471  

 

DISC 5:

Poulenc: Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano

Haieff: Three Bagatelles for Oboe and Bassoon  

Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasilieiras No. 6: Aria - Fantasia  

Colgrass: Variations for Four Drums and Viola  

 

DISC 6:

Schubert: Piano Quintet in A Major D.667, Op. 114 "The Trout"  

Brahms: Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8  

 

DISC 7:

Poulenc: Sextet for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn  

Webern: Concerto for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Viola and Piano, Op. 24

Martinu: Nonet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double-Bass  

Dahl: Duettino Concertante (1966)

 

DISC 8:

Schubert: Piano Trio in B-Flat Major D.898, Op. 99  

Milhaud: Pastorale  

Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2  

 

DISC 9:

Spohr: Nonet in F Major, Op. 31  

Coker: Concertino for Bassoon and String Trio  

Barber: Summer Music for Wind Quintet  

 

DISC 10:

Chamber Music Discussion with Peter Ustinov, Erich Leinsdorf, and Joseph Silverstein, with musical excerpts

A Survey of Chamber Music with Musical Illustrations