"Respected by Haydn and a one-time colleague of the young Beethoven, Andreas Jakob Romberg (1767-1821) wrote this set of three Quintets for flute, violin, two violas, and cello around 1790. Romberg was a prolific composer of works across a wide generic spectrum, though very few of these entered the regular repertoire. That's no reflection on the quality of their invention; this trilogy has great melodic verve and, in the case of the finale of the E minor work that opens the set, fine contrapuntal virtuosity, too. The remaining pieces in D major and F major are outwardly conventional in terms of their formal structure, but the brilliant exploitation of the flute is always agreeably counterbalanced by the depth and sonority of the strings, whose texture is rendered darker and more contrasting by the use of a pair of violas rather than the traditional second violin of the string quartet.
One especially novel feature in the Op. 41 No. 1 is the interpolation of 'God Save The King' during the Larghetto (interestingly, slow movements and minuets change places here and in the D major quintet), in what must surely be one of the more unexpected uses of this familiar tune! Performances on this Naxos disc are lively; and although the pick-up string group plays with panache... and this well-recorded and pleasing disc of hitherto un-recorded pieces merits enthusiastic recommendation."