These two performances derive from a concert given at the 16th International Pharos Chamber Music Festival, Cyprus, in 2016. The performers involved clearly play together regularly, certainly at Pharos, apart from their impressive individual credentials. Some, like Yevgeny Sudbin and Alexander Chausian, have well established partnerships on record.
After its first two recordings, devoted to Schubert then Beethoven, highly praised and recommended by the critics (both ffff in Télérama, recommended by The Strad…), this eclectic, innovative quartet is now celebrating its tenth anniversary by tackling the string quintets of Mozart and Brahms. These two scores, representative of the culmination of a career in the case of Brahms and, for Mozart, the end of a life, are sustained by vigorous inspiration and frothing energy.
The Brodsky Quartet present the first of two albums that will feature Brahms’s complete string quartets. This recording includes the String Quartet Op. 51 No. 2 with the Clarinet Quintet in B minor. The second string quartet was written alongside its contrasting companion, the String Quartet Op. 51 No. 1. They were both finally published in 1873 after being held back for years by a typically self-doubting Brahms until he had brought them to his own standards of perfection. Of the two, the second is warmer, more affirmative and relaxed, with few extremes of tempo or mood. It is a work that often looks backward, incorporating hints of baroque devices in his lyrical writing.
From the notes: The two pianists featured in the Flonzaley recordings of piano quintets were amongst the most interesting artists of their time. Both were longtime associates of the quartet, both on and off stage, as well as friends of each other (together they formed a celebrated two-piano team). Harold Bauer [born London, 28 April 1873; died Miami, 12 March 1951) was virtually self-taught as a pianist In his delightful memoirs he wrote of his earliest musical sensations which included a one-man band: "That, to me, was real magic; and I longed unspeakably to grow up and conquer my fear of the sounds, so that I could wield the power they possessed …." It was the opening of Brahms' piano quintet. … [i]Ossip Gabrilowitsch (born St. Petersburg, 7 February 1978; died Detroit, 14 September 1936) was a more orthodox pianist, the supreme keyboard poet of histime. He studied with Anton Rubinstein but also took compositions and theory courses from Navratil, Liadov and Glazunov at the Conservatory in his home city. After winning the Rubinstein Prize in 1894 he had further studies with Leschtizky in Vienna and made his début in Berlin in 1896. He was also a skilled conductor. He was the 'perfect fifth' for the Schumann Piano Quintet, a work which brought out his best qualities. This performance is the secondof two recordings he made with the Flonzaleys… written by Tully Potter
This is the first ever release of the Juilliard String Quartet’s complete EPIC recordings from 1956 to 1966 in a single 11-CD edition. The set includes four LP recordings appearing for the first time on CD and eight CDs remastered from the original analogue tapes. The Quartet’s legacy is evident in their accumulated reviews for their outstanding recordings. On Mozart’s six “Haydn” Quartets, a Gramophone reviewer stated that they were “the best performances [they] have ever heard”. Although the Quartet have excelled in their interpretations of 18th- and 19th-century repertoire, their original purpose was to promote 20th-century music. Thus, it is unsurprising that the first album in this box set features a special recording of lesser-known works by American composers Benjamin Lees and William Denny.