Brahms - Piano Quintet; Schumann - String Quartet no.1
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Label: Cedille Records
Cat No: CDR90000170
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 10th March 2017
WorksPiano Quintet in F minor, op.34
String Quartet in A minor, op.41 no.1
Menahem Pressler (piano)
This noteworthy generation-crossing collaboration — a half-century separates the pianist, who is in his 90s, from the quartet members — yields a spacious, sweeping traversal of the Brahms Quintet that sets its own pace to build suspense and drama. While Pressler has performed the Brahms Quintet with marquee string quartets of the past 50 years, this is his first recording of it.
The album offers the unusual, perhaps unprecedented, pairing of Brahms’s early Piano Quintet with a string quartet by his champion Robert Schumann, in this case, the String Quartet in A minor, op.41 no.1, which the Quartet has been performing since early in its career. Dedicated to Mendelssohn, this buoyant, sprightly Romantic quartet showcases the Pacifica’s virtuosity and exuberant performance style while offering a contrast to Brahms’s moodier masterwork. This is the Quartet’s first recording of a Schumann work.
Currently quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, the Pacifica Quartet was previously quartet-in-residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the University of Chicago. The Quartet received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance and that same year was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.
German-born pianist Menahem Pressler was a founding member of the illustrious, long-lived Beaux Arts Trio. The recipient of a Gramophone magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, he currently holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
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