While Max Reger's A minor String Trio and D minor Piano Quartet offer little in the way of truly memorable tunes, their restless harmonic density consistently holds your attention and keeps you guessing. The Aperto players favor the musical equivalent of broad-brush strokes in the Trio by way of frequent dynamic swells and emphatic inflections of phrase. This creates a diverse and intensified tonal palette that wonderfully suits the slow movement's overcast mood and spacious time scale, as well as emphasizing the Allegro con moto finale's frequently unpredictable modulations. Yet the latter movement benefits more from the Manheimmer Quartet members' lighter, suppler bow work and greater expressive economy. Similarly, the Aperto's slower,Read more earthier Scherzo significantly differs from the Mannheimer's brisk, conversational interpretation.
Close-up engineering underlines the big D minor Piano Quartet's symphonic dimensions, as well as creating a kind of aural fatigue that allows little textural variety. Moreover, the ensemble's frequent ritards at cadences (in addition to those that Reger indicates) impedes the outer movements' flow. This does not take anything away from each musician's obvious mastery, to say nothing of the physical and psychic stamina needed to get through any major Reger opus all in one piece. As such, Reger fans will welcome a chance to sample, and perhaps savor, these fascinating, seldom-heard works.
Quartet for Piano and Strings in D minor, Op. 113by Max Reger Performer:
Frank-Immo Zichner (Piano),
Gernot Süssmuth (Violin),
Felix Schwartz (Viola),
Hans-Jacob Eschenburg (Cello)
Aperto Piano Quartet
Period: Romantic Written: 1910; Germany Length: 47 Minutes 55 Secs.