The Bottom Line
The world premier recording, Twilight of the Romantics, is delightfully fresh music by two extremely talented composers of the Late Viennese era. Although dwarfed by Brahms and Mahler, their music equally compares in style, texture, and melody. The Orion Ensemble performs flawlessly. It's an absolute treat to the ears.
- Music is well written - comparable to Brahms
- Orion Ensemble plays with remarkable clarity and musicality
- An incredible find: two talented composers of late Vienna
- I would have liked at least one more piece on the album
- Released: February 2006
- 1 Disk, 8 Tracks
- Total Play Time: 57:46
Guide Review - Twilight of the Romantics: Chamber Music by Walter Rabl and Josef Labor
On this album you'll find two works; Walter Rabl's Quartet in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Piano, Op. 1 (1896) and Josef Labor's Quintet in D Major for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano, Op. 11 (1900). The orchestration chosen by each composer is perfect; each instrument perfectly complements one another. Both pieces are very soothing and calming; don't expect to find abrasive fortissimos or distracting notations. The listening is smooth and easy, without lacking in melodic line and rhythmic texture.
Walter Rabl's Quartet in E-flat Major caught the attention of Brahms, who often judged many beloved music competitions hosted in Vienna, and was awarded first prize. Brahms liked the piece so much, he had it published along with three other Rabl works. Josef Labor, 9 years younger than Brahms, was in frequent contact with Brahms in the many social and artistic circles of Vienna and kept true to the musical values held by Brahms.
The Orion Ensemble is considered one of Chicago's finest chamber ensembles. After listening to the album it's not hard to hear why. Each musician is uniquely talented and all have performed in a number of top-notched orchestral ensembles and venues. They have set the bar for anyone wanting to masterfully perform either of these two works.