Ensemble Festina Lente
Mark Fewer & Pascale Giguère, violins
Karine Rousseau, viola
Blair Lofgren, violoncello
Ali Kian Yazdanfar, double bass
String Quintets of George Onslow (1784-1853)
Quintet No. 27, Op. 68
Scherzo: Allegro Impetuoso
Quintet No. 22, Op. 57
Allegro non tanto Vivace
Finale Pastorale: Allegretto Grazioso
Festina Lente was formed with the goal to renew the spirit of a composer almost unknown today: George Onslow.
There is much that makes Onslow's music attractive: the writing possesses driving energy and boundless virtuosity, and there is a unique blend of Viennese classicism with 19th century French dramatic traditions. His oeuvre is remarkable for its focus on the string quintet in its many forms, and it is large enough (34 quintets, written between 1806-1851) that different periods and influences can be observed. Only a small portion of his works have been recorded, and the lack of modern editions of his music keep him unjustly off of many concert programs. Festina Lente seeks to introduce his quintets to audiences in Montréal, Québec, Canada, and the world through a series of recordings of his quintets.