The peerless Takacs Quartet recently nominated for a Gramophone award for their second disc of Brahms's string quartets, continue their exploration of the Romantic chamber music tradition with this disc of Schumann. The Piano Quintet is by far Schumann's most popular chamber work and one of the most beloved works in the genre. Schumann was the first romantic composer to pair the piano with the string quartet. Schumann studied the string quartets of Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn and his quartet Op. 41 No. 3 demonstrates these influences. However, it contains many highly original strokes, particularly the casting of the scherzo as a set of variations. The Takacs Quartet are joined by Marc-Andre Hamelin in an invigorating partnership that has already been widely acclaimed on the concert platform.
Authentic and authoritative, these 1985 recordings of Mozart and Beethoven's quintets for piano and winds have almost everything going for them. Performing on a pianoforte modeled on a 1790 Viennese instrument, Jos van Immerseel is an adroit player, while the quartet drawn from the period instrument wind band Octophoros – Paul Dombrecht on oboe, Elmar Schmid on clarinet, Piet Dombrecht on horn, and Danny Bond on bassoon – are likewise all skillful instrumentalists. But while their playing is beyond contention – listen to their keen balances, their smooth ensemble, their unified rhythms – their interpretations miss the one thing that defines these works: their sense of fun..
Dvorák's popular Piano Quartet No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 87, and Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81, have received numerous performances by Czech ensembles, as well as plenty of foreigners who have attained fluency in the received Czech style (or not). This fine release by Britain's Schubert Ensemble takes the step of defining a non-Czech way of playing Dvorák, with fresh and persuasive results. The players are circumspect and precise in the classic British style, but what they do is bold: they reduce the emphasis on the Czech rhythms in the music, turning them into accents rather than structural determinants.
Jubilee Concert: 100 Years of Berliner Philharmoniker, April 30th, 1982
The performance itself ? Nothing short of revelatory. You are not likely to see or hear a reading of the tragic slow movement which digs as deeply as this one. Karajan and his orchestra present a very profound experience ; the visual aspect of the performance helps us to see the emotion being poured into this sublime movement, and the intense response from the players. The first movement doesn't exactly ignite initially, but it soon gathers steam, and the Karajan charisma settles in for a coda which blazes its way to the final chords. The third and fourth movements are beautifully played, too. - from Amazon.com
EMI Classics pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and Virgin Classics' string quartet, the Artemis, have joined their formidable musical forces to record two of the most beautiful piano quintets of the Romantic chamber music repertoire. Their collaboration makes for what will certainly be considered a landmark recording, bringing a new vigour to these well-known masterpieces. The programme couples 2 major piano quintets by Brahms and Schumann. Brahms' Piano Quintet in F minor Op.34 is the composer's only piano quintet and is considered one of his finest compositions. The work began life as a string quintet, later evolving into a sonata for two pianos, before taking its final form in 1866. Of Schumann's Piano Quintet in E Op 44, Clara Schumann, who premiered it said: "A glorious piece, extremely brilliant and effective. Schumann's sole composition for piano quintet was composed in 1842, a year practically devoted to the composition of chamber works for piano and strings.
Schumann’s Piano Quintet, composed in the autumn of 1842, was one of the earliest examples of the combination of piano with a string quartet – Boccherini, Dussek and Hummel had each produced one, and Schubert used the double bass in his ‘Trout’ Quintet. It instantly became one of Schumann’s most popular works. It was composed at a time of almost feverish industry – he composed his three string quartets Op.41, the Piano Quartet and a set of Fantasy Pieces for piano trio, all in 1842. The piano quintet is a captivating, almost spontaneous work, and is a brilliant example of Schumann’s inspiration from start to finish.
This Super Audio compact disc from the independent German label Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm label (MDG) features the prolific Trio Parnassus in their thirtieth release for the label. Augmented by violist Hariolf Schlichtig, Parnassus perform not only Robert Schumann’s renowned Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47 from 1842, but also his youthful C minor Piano Quartet, a hidden gem composed thirteen years earlier. Until recently the C minor score was thought to be unplayable, however, this is the first recording in Joachim Draheim’s new, and as yet unpublished, edition…
The complete Schumann chamber music? On just seven discs? Is that really possible?
Schubert’s famous Quintet needs little introduction, and is certainly the most famous work named after a fish. The commission came from Sylvester Paumgartner, wealthy mine-owner by day, amateur cellist by night, who not only suggested Schubert use his song, ‘The Trout’, for a set of variations, but also requested the unusual line-up of violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano. Unusual, but not unique, since Hummel had set the trend with his effervescent E flat Quintet and Paumgartner intended to feature the two pieces together in one of his regular soirées.