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Rob Naim
International Society of Bassists Magazine, April 2017

The Elan Quintet was formed in Valencia in 2014, having worked with each other in the Palau de les Arts Opera Orchestra; yet their biographies include such orchestras as the Moscow Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra, Les Arts Florisasants, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Their repertoire stretches from working with contemporary composers creating new works for quintet, to rediscovering neglected masterpieces. This is their first CD for Naxos as part of a project to record all of the Onslow quintets.

The opening of No. 20 with its unique bass introduction is dark and somber, and the work is a densely dramatic, mature work of Onslow’s that should enjoy much better renown. The group’s performance here captures the subtle shades and shifting dynamics with great lyricism: sagacious, thoughtful and expressive. The recording, made in the thoughtful and expressive Auditorio de Rafelbunyol in Valencia, is very warm and detailed. © 2017 International Society of Bassists Magazine



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2017

The performances by the Elan Quintet are outstanding—brilliant playing all around, really. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Ville Komppa
Yle Klassinen musiikki, February 2017

At the beginning of the 19th century, alongside Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn, a vast amount of composers were active—and some of them were excellent composers. One such was Georges Onslow, who was born into an English French noble family in 1784, and who was considered by Schumann as the greatest follower of the traditions of Mozart and Beethoven together with Mendelssohn.

Onslow was highly esteemed during his lifetime. He composed a substantial catalogue of works, which include 70 String Quartets and Quintets, 4 Symphonies and 4 Operas, of which three were performed at the Opéra Comique in France. Elan String Quintet has started a project with the String Quintets by Georges Onslow, and its first chapter fills up the narrative of music history in a very interesting way.

The Elan Quintet plays Onslow in a qualified and balanced way, and with a firm belief in the composer’s music. …This way his Quintets get a wonderful calling card for the friends of music for strings. © 2017 Yle Klassinen musiikki



David W Moore
American Record Guide, January 2017

Onslow is a composer of imagination and beauty, and these are highly interesting and worthwhile works. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Michael Wilkinson
MusicWeb International, December 2016

The Valencia-based, but international, Elan Quintet, play with evident devotion, interest and excellence in a wonderfully clear performance. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Richard Bratby
Gramophone, December 2016

…these five players make a beguiling case for this music. Their ensemble sound is attractive: it is warm and slightly inward which, combined with the small-room acoustic, makes for a real chamber-music feeling.

That intimate quality bathes both these essentially Classical (stylistically, they’re slightly closer to early Beethoven than Mendelssohn) works in an understated but unmistakably Romantic glow. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Barker
MusicWeb International, November 2016

The Elan Quintet are a Spanish-based ensemble, formed from players in the opera orchestra in Valencia. I cannot fault their playing: their tonal quality is ravishing, their ensemble perfect. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2016

Georges Onslow spent his formative years in England, the birthplace of his wealthy father, but he had been born in France and his music was essentially Germanic. Having inherited wealth, composing was more a hobby than a career, his prolific output which including symphonies, operas and seventy works for string quartet and quintet, his quintets being unusual in having the conventional second cello part given to the double bass. That all began when the person taking one of cello parts failed to turn up. By good fortune the remarkable bassist, Domenico Dragonetti, was on hand, and having substituted the cello part, Onslow was so impressed he composed four more quintets in that format. That was soon followed by arrangements of all the previous quintets which now offered this alternative configuration. It certainly gives a very different sound, as this disc demonstrates, though the Twentieth was originally for two cellos. The first movement evinces Onslow’s ready gift for creating attractive thematic material, though he cannot sustain that interest through the remainder of the score, the following Minuetto hardly an elegant dance. The Twenty-sixth dates from fourteen years later, by which time he was turned sixty, and has a more serious countenance, its slow and doom-laden introduction setting the scene. In place of the Twentieth’s Minuetto we have a dramatic scherzo, and we return to sombre thoughts in the following Andante. An uneasy finale completes the score. Having noted the excellence of intonation from the Spanish-based Elan Quintet in the Twentieth, maybe recording time was running out as some questionable violin moments entered into the Twenty-sixth. Exceptionally good recording quality, and I look forward to more discoveries in this on-going series. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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