Memorable tunes are at a premium, though Beck lacks Haydn's gift for sustaining momentum over long stretches. But there's much to enjoy in the chamber-musical finesse of the opening Allegro of the A major Symphony No. 3…and the fizzing first movement of No. 5…Mallon draws spruce, carefully shaped playing from his Canadian chamber forces, always alive to felicities in Beck's part-writing.
Beck, F I: Symphonies, Op. 2
Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Kevin Mallon
Franz Ignaz Beck is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most forward looking and inventive of mid-eighteenth-century symphonists. A student of the celebrated Johann Stamitz, Beck was trained in Mannheim, a focal point of new approaches to orchestral writing. Although small in scale, his Op. 2 set includes some of the most striking and harmonically daring works of their kind from the period.