Beck: Symphonies, Op. 2

Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Kevin Mallon
69:45
Naxos 8.573323

Naxos have produced the other sets of the Mannheim composer Franz Ignaz Beck’s collection of youthful symphonies op. 1, 3 and 4, so this recording I think must complete the major part of his symphonic output. All in three movements, the works are harmonically advanced for their time (published in 1760 after Beck’s move to Marseilles) and are well worth exploring – far removed from the mundane work of many of the minor continental figures of the period. Most of the movements are for strings alone, though horns poke their noses in on rare occasions. Kevin Mallon produces some neat, stylish playing from his Canadian chamber band Thirteen Strings. A good, honest performance of some interesting music. Naxos’ usual “economy class” booklet contains an informative essay on the music.

Ian Graham-Jones