Hausmusik’s performance of the Mendelssohn Octet comes with the advantage of a sensibly steady tempo for the famous scherzo, allowing for maximum transparency and lightness; and a dazzling finale in which for once the cello’s first scurrying fugal entry sounds crystal clear. The First String Quintet, and the Op. 13 Quartet – Mendelssohn’s homage to the late quartets of the recently deceased Beethoven – are also miraculous products of the composer’s teenage years. The Quintet is quite beautifully done here, but the Quartet, like the late Quintet, Op. 87, is rather lacking in tension and urgency. Woldemar Bargiel was Schumann’s brother-in-law. For all its obvious weaknesses, his Octet contains some attractive ideas, and Divertimenti’s performance makes a strong case for it. Divertimenti is impressive in the Mendelssohn, too – though its finale is not quite as exhilarating as Hausmusik’s; and in the last resort neither group can quite match the élan of the ASMF Chamber Ensemble.
This collection, which is part of the 9-disk box set "Sensational Sweet - Chapter One: The Wild Bunch", includes the non-album singles and B-sides.
Although the Misunderstood were among the best obscure psychedelic bands – indeed, among the best obscure '60s rock bands of any kind – they barely got to record anything before tragic circumstances broke them up. The discovery of this bunch of previously unknown mid-'60s acetates, then, was big news to psychedelic rock aficionados, though most of this actually comes from their garage R&B days rather than the psychedelic peak they attained with their late-1966 lineup. The first nine of these 14 tracks come from sessions spanning mid-1965 to early 1966, and show them as a ferocious, above-average moody raw R&B-based group, somewhat in the mold of a more guitar-oriented Animals.