This review is actually to mention and comment briefly on competing recordings of Dohnanyi chamber works, primarily the First Piano Quintet, an amazing, melodic, well-crafted work from Dohnányi's student years and his Opus 1. Every movement has its felicities, including the catchy final movement with its 5/4 meter and obligatory fugal ending. There are competing versions of that work recorded by the Gabrieli Quartet with Wolfgang Manz, piano; the Vanbrugh Quartet, with Martin Roscoe, piano; and the Takacs Quartet with András Schiff. All are actually quite wonderful performances and I suspect the main draw for any of these recordings will be the Quintet's discmates. The couplings: Schubert Ensemble (Second Piano Quintet, the delightful 'Serenade,' which is a string trio), Gabrieli Quartet (Second String Quartet, Op. 15), Takacs (Sextet, Op. 37).
On this disc is the Second Quintet, Op. 26, which is considerably advanced from the Op. 1, but is still in the ambit of Brahmsian harmonic warmth. And sandwiched between the two quintets is the delightful 'Serenade.' The Serenade, written in 1902, is for string trio, that rarest of chamber music forms; it is difficult to write music with full-sounding romantic harmonies with just three instruments. However, by judicious use of double-stops and lots of cello and viola arpeggios using 4ths, 5ths, 6ths and 10ths, the harmonies are filled out admirably and richly. Indeed, this piece is every bit as yummy as a cup of hot dark rich chocolate. If you love Brahms, you'll love this piece. It has been much-recorded and even rescored (by Dimitry Sitkovetsky) for string orchestra; this recording holds its own with that company.
Recommended both for performances and for the repertoire represented. You can't go wrong with this one if you love Brahms or music of that ilk.