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Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81; Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 87
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The (second) piano quintet, however, is one of the great masterpieces of chamber music of all time - an absolutely staggeringly powerful and beautiful work, well constructed out of first-rate melodic ideas that are treated with stunning resourcefulness and imagination, and an incomparable ability to create wonderful textures.Read more ›
There re even fewer outstanding recordings of Dvorak's Piano quartet No. 2, one of his major chamber works and the one I would point to after the Piano Quintet as his most inspired. The work is built on the grand scale of Brahms's Piano Quartets, and from the first fiery allegro (it's marked Allegro con fuoco), Dvorak attains Brahms's propulsive sweep. The Lento that follows is gentler and more reflective than a slow movement form Brahms; it displays Dvorak's trait of lyric melanchily. The Scherzo is a lilting hesitation waltz with a considerable gypsy flavor sprinkled in. The Rondo finale is a bit subdued compared to what Brahms does at the end of his Piano quartet No. 1 and is, on the whole, not quite a crowning glory to the work. The Emersons and Pressler give a balanced reading that could afford more abandon and energy here and there, yet overall it's very fine.Read more ›
Regardless of this nonsense, these are wonderful works stuffed full with all those very idiomatic Czech influences which characterised so much of Dvorak's writing when he was at his most musically confident. Ebullient and hummably tuneful, as previously has been suggested these works can be an excellent introduction to the world of chamber music, so often and erroneously regarded as being recondite and difficult to penetrate. If nothing else, this quintet and quartet put the lie to that.
Others have commented upon the recording quality - certainly Deutsche Grammophon can be very inconsistent in this regard. Perhaps this is something to do with production batches for the sound of my example is quite acceptable.
Great music, great performance, great buy.
NOTE: The heading shows four stars only. My intention had been to award five but I hit the wrong button and my editing skills have proved insufficient to add the fifth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great recording. Just listened to it in my car, sounds great!Published 2 months ago by Orch. Musician
This is an outstanding recording -- the music, of course, is very beautiful, and I can't imagine it being played any better or being any better recorded. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stanley Crowe
Very fast paced - beautiful piano and ohhh the strings! I love to listen to this great performance while driving to work. Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by Starmax56
Every string player should own a copy of this recording. Classic and essential listening for any young or old string players out there. Read morePublished on December 29, 2011 by D. Powell