- Composer: Brahms, Schumann
- Audio CD (July 31 1997)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Ncl
- ASIN: B0000013QU
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #154,094 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In E Flat Major, Op.44: Allegro Brilliante|
|2. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In E Flat Major, Op.44: In Modo D'Una Marcia. Un Poco Largamente|
|3. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In E Flat Major, Op.44: Scherzo: Molto Vivace - Trio I - Trio II - L'Istesso Tempo|
|4. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In E Flat Major, Op.44: Allegro, Ma Non Troppo|
|5. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In F Minor, Op.34: Allegro Non Troppo|
|6. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In F Minor, Op.34: Andante, Un Poco Adagio|
|7. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In F Minor, Op.34: Scherzo: Allegro - Trio|
|8. Quintet For Two Violins, Viola, Cello And Piano In F Minor, Op.34: Finale: Poco Sostenuto - Allegro Non Troppo - Presto, Non Troppo|
The two works are in turn dramatic, haunting, intense, melodic, extremely inventive - the hallmarks of mid-Romanticism. The Brahms Quintet in F Minor is one of the 19th Century Musical Cornerstones - what an accomplishment.
(2) The Kodaly Quartet is perfect for this pair in both temperament and persuasion. They are as much craftsmen as artists and this fact gives their Romantic playing such a firm basis. The Kodaly is one of the finest in the world and has been woefully underrated. (I have numerous recordings of theirs, all top notch.) Their interpretation is always correct - nothing eccentric or in left field. This is a MUST CD.
As for the quintets themselves, they represent mid-nineteenth-century Romanticism at its best, and only Shostakovitch and Faure can even approach them where this genre as a whole is concerned. While it doesn't quite possess the monumental qualities of his opus 25 and 26 piano quartets, the Brahms quintet is still massively ambitious in its conception, and it seems to combine the drama of his first piano quartet with the lyrical introspection and spaciousness of the second. The work just teems with ideas: from the wild entrance of the piano part in the first movement; to one of the saddest, most beautiful andantes I've ever heard; to the expansive finale, which seems an entire work in and of itself.
I bought this CD because I wanted a copy of the Brahms quintet; however, I have to say the Schumann quintet has become the piece I listen to more than any other right now. Schumann strikes me as a brilliant but rather erratic composer, who excelled at short, thematically linked piano pieces but often struggled with longer forms. Yet there are occasions-the piano concerto, the opus 17 fantasy, and this quintet-where he created and sustained pure, uncontestable magic across the board. Unlike the Brahms, I'd never heard this quintet before, and when I did I couldn't believe how good it was. To me it seems one of the most perfect pieces ever written. The first movement has the most beautifully yearning, singing melody imaginable, while the eerie second movement shimmers with a kind of ghostly foreboding. Yet after these unforgettable moments, he somehow manages to augment and resolve everything in the scherzo and finale, without the diminution of drama that often plagues third and fourth movements. Since I've had this recording, my respect for Schumann has soared. This quintet is a composition you simply must have, and I can't think of any other way of adequately praising it. Together with the Brahms its an unbeatable listening experience. Ergo, you must buy this CD.