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The Russian Piano Quartet - Taneyev, Juon, Borodin


Release Date: 11/21/2000 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 93215   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei TaneyevAlexander BorodinPaul Juon
Performer:  Jonathan SturmMahlon DarlingtonGeorge WorkWilliam David
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ames Piano Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Dorian's pairing of these two piano quartets is particularly apt for a number of reasons, not least of which is the relative rarity of works in this genre by Russian composers. Paul Juon was a student of Sergei Taneyev (himself a student of Tchaikovsky), and it is Juon's Rhapsody that opens the program. A troubled, yearning theme in the cello's lower register sets the course for the entire piece, whose exceptionally rich chromaticism (stopping just short of Scriabin) keeps the music awash in a late-romantic delirium. The drama of the big finale is capped by the return of the cello's theme near the end. It's passionate, Wuthering Heights-type stuff, and the Ames Piano Quartet really pours on the
Read more sauce (but not so much that it overruns the plate).


Though written in the same year as Juon's Rhapsody (1906), Taneyev's piano quartet sounds like an earlier work due to its greater reliance on traditional Russian harmonic techniques. It's only slightly less emotionally heated, and the high strings' singing of the first movement theme brings to mind Chausson's Concert for violin, piano, and string quartet. The second movement features a catchy tune that would make a great rock n' roll anthem today. Taneyev's finale is even bigger that Juon's, though it also employs a cyclic device, in this case bringing that fetching second movement theme back for another rendition. As if two big chamber works were not enough, the disc is packed with Borodin's Polovtsian Dances in a mostly satisfying arrangement (you might miss the oboe) by Geoffrey Wilcken. Again, the Ames Piano Quartet plays with power, sensitivity, and brilliance. Dorian's recording places the piano well to the rear, but the live acoustic perfectly balances it with the strings.
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Piano and Strings in E major, Op. 20 by Sergei Taneyev
Performer:  Jonathan Sturm (Viola), Mahlon Darlington (Violin), George Work (Cello),
William David (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ames Piano Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902-1906; Russia 
Date of Recording: 01/2000 
Venue:  Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Ames, LA 
Length: 39 Minutes 25 Secs. 
2.
Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances by Alexander Borodin
Performer:  Mahlon Darlington (Violin), Jonathan Sturm (Viola), George Work (Cello),
William David (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ames Piano Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Date of Recording: 01/2000 
Venue:  Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Ames, LA 
Length: 9 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Geoffrey Wilcken
Composition written: Russia (1869 - 1887). 
3.
Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in F major "Rhapsody", Op. 37 by Paul Juon
Performer:  Jonathan Sturm (Viola), Mahlon Darlington (Violin), George Work (Cello),
William David (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ames Piano Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1908; Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/2000 
Venue:  Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Ames, LA 
Length: 29 Minutes 51 Secs. 

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