Josef Myslivicek Oboe Quintets anticipate Mozart

Many musicologists credit Josef Myslivecek with providing the compositional models Mozart was to follow. The Czech composer was a friend of Leopold Mozart and close to the family until they fell out in 1778.

The chamber works in this release certainly bear a strong resemblance to Mozart’s early work. And they’re just as enjoyable.

For a long time, Myslivecek’s oboe quartets were considered lost. Thanks to the efforts of oboist Michaela Hrabánková and violinist Václav Dvorák, the music for three of Mislivecek’s six quintets have been recovered.

And they receive their world premiere recording with this release. The quintets are elegantly constructed, with beautifully symmetrical phrases.

Michaela Hrabánková plays with a lyrical delicacy that gives this music a certain refinement.

Equally appealing are the three string quartets performed by the Doležal Quartet. The ensemble has natural chemistry to it. The quartet sound (as they should), like a conversation between four good friends.

For anyone who enjoys the chamber music of Mozart and Haydn, give this disc a listen. Myslivecek is an early Classical composer worth exploring.

Myslivecek: Oboe Quintets, String Quartets
Doležal Quartet, Michaela Hrabánková, oboe
Supraphon SU 4289-2

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