It was Robert Schumann who praised the Anglo-French Georges Onslow, alongside Mendelssohn, as one of the successors to the chamber music legacy of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. His string quintets were intended for a market of cultivated amateurs, with parts for a second cello or bass. No. 10 in F minor, Op. 32 reflects Beethoven’s influence, its Sturm und Drang elements revealing a masterly balance between the stable and unpredictable. No. 22 in E flat major, lively and playful, offers an almost Schubertian songfulness. Of the first volume, Gramphone wrote: ‘these five players make a beguiling case for this music.’ The combination of string quartet with double bass has opened up a richness of tone and distinct soundscape that the Elan Quintet has dedicated to exploring, celebrating works by renowned composers such as Schubert, Dvorak and Cambini, working with contemporary artists in creating new works for quintet, and rediscovering neglected masterpieces by composers including Onslow and Bridge. The members of the Elan Quintet, Benjamin Scherer Quesada, Lelia Iancovici, Julia Chu-Ying Hu, Dmitri Tsirin, and Matthew Baker, formed the ensemble in Valencia in 2014 having worked with each other extensively in the opera orchestra of the Palau de les Arts as well as in masterclasses and in chamber music.
Onslow: String Quintet No. 10 in F minor, Op. 32
String Quintet No. 22 in E flat, Op. 57