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Gernsheim: Quatuors Pour Piano No. 1 Import


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Quatuors pour piano n°1 & 2 / Andreas Kirpal, piano - Diogenes Quartett

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Fantastic First Recording of Outstanding Music March 11 2010
By Kenneth Gilman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've got the recordings of Gernsheim's symphonies & cello concerto and they're good, worth having & an occasional listen. These two Piano Quartets are in a whole different class. They are simply outstanding. I own a fair ammount of German and other Romantic era chamber music, especially by off the beaten track composers, but these pieces may very well be the best I've ever heard. They are unique, beautiful, suprising, inventive, tuneful and a joy to listen to. Please, buy this cd. If it sells well maybe they'll record more of Gernsheim's chamber music, which for me can't happen too soon.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very enjoyable music Feb. 2 2013
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916) was one of many composers who seem to have left a mark on his native Germany in his day, but who has subsequently been more or less forgotten. A certain comeback was achieved in the late 90s when Arte Nova released his four symphonies, which revealed a first-rate craftsman with plenty of strong ideas, resourcefulness and imagination if not, perhaps, a really original voice. More of his music has appeared over the following years, exploring in particular his chamber music (where he is generally thought to have made his most important contributions). On the disc at hand members of the Diogenes Quartett and Andreas Kirpal give us spirited readings of his first and third piano quartets, and they are very welcome additions to the record catalogue.

The third piano quartet, which opens the disc, was written in 1883 and strongly influenced by the chamber works of his friend Brahms (though more than Brahms, Gernsheim appears to write for four separate instruments to play together, rather than for one ensemble). It is a really enjoyable work with an eventful opening Allegro tranquillo, an almost relentlessly ebullient scherzo, a calm and dreamlike slow movement and an imaginative final Tema con Variazioni that sounds much more like a unified argument than the variations form might suggest. Few of the themes really stick in the listeners mind, admittedly, but there is little chance of a fan of, say, Brahms's chamber music being anything but pleased and impressed by this overall very fine work.

The first quartet, completed in 1864, was among the composer's first major works, and the style is much closer to Mendelssohn with a touch of Schumann. The first movement is particularly impressive, eventful and exciting, full of atmosphere and color. The raging scherzo is thrilling as well, and the slow movement provides an island of calm reflection - though it is admittedly less impressive than the surrounding movements. The finale is cheeky and brilliant with plenty of energy (achieved to a large extent by alternating rhythms). Overall, it is as enjoyable if not even more so than the third quartet. The performances are spirited and energetic throughout, and the sound is good. Overall, this is a rewarding release that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes romantic chamber music - though in the final verdict I would perhaps recommend the symphonies as the primary entry point for those unfamiliar with the composer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent pieces in a Brahmsian Vein July 2 2013
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Leaning largely in the same direction as the two reviewers who preceded me here, I can recommend this disc as a fine Brahms substitute. Gernsheim, a German who lived from 1839-1916, often approaches the level of his more accomplished fellow composer. If you find these to your taste, you might also want to try Gernsheim's Violin Sonatas, also available on the Brilliant label. His four symphonies are engaging as well, though so far I've not found them as good as his chamber works. In any case, this disc definitely deserves a listen.

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