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Mozart: The Piano Quartets / Beaux Arts Trio, Bruno Giuranna

Release Date: 11/27/2007 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 410391   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Menahem PresslerIsidore CohenBernard GreenhouseBruno Giuranna
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

When, in 1785, the publisher Franz Anton Hoffmeister commissioned Mozart to write three piano quartets, he did not know what he was letting himself in for. What he presumably expected were some amiable drawing room pieces a la J. C. Bach or Schobert; what he got was the first great piano quartet ever composed, and in G minor, a key Mozart never used lightly. When the Viennese public objected that the piece was 'too difficult', Mozart generously released Hoffmeister from his contract; yet he did compose a more equable, if not less difficult, companion piece in E flat the following year, which was subsequently issued by another Viennese publisher, Artaria.

The two works, which display a masterly fusion of concertante keyboard
Read more writing and the purest chamber music style, feature all too infrequently in concert programmes, but fortunately they have been the subject of a small but distinguished number of gramophone recordings, two of which appeared simultaneously in March 1982. The latest one, by the prestigious Beaux Arts Trio and the eminent Italian violist Bruno Giuranna (whose name is emblazoned on the front of the sleeve in large capital letters, as though he were the soloist in a viola concerto) is, I think, the finest that has yet appeared—certainly since the demise of the Old Oiseau-Lyre recording by the Pro Arte Piano Quartet (SOL285, 1/66—nla). The playing is virile yet highly sensitive; brilliant but never remotely flashy: the scale is always classical, and although the performances are full of temperament, there is never any hint of self-indulgence (such as I occasionally find in Klien and the Amadeus on DG) or, on the other hand, of the slightly debonair attitude I seem to detect in Previn and the Musikverein on Decca.

The distinction is, perhaps, a small one, and my profound respect for and admiration of this new issue is enhanced, not conditioned, by the fact the Beaux Arts team are exceptionally generous with repeats (they alone observe both repeats in both first movements), and by Philips's immaculately clear and lifelike recording.'

Robin Golding, Gramophone 10/1984
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Works on This Recording

Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, K 478 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Menahem Pressler (Piano), Isidore Cohen (Violin), Bernard Greenhouse (Cello),
Bruno Giuranna (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1983 
Venue:  La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 29 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Quartet for Piano and Strings no 2 in E flat major, K 493 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Menahem Pressler (Piano), Isidore Cohen (Violin), Bruno Giuranna (Viola),
Bernard Greenhouse (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Beaux Arts Trio
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1983 
Venue:  La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland 
Length: 31 Minutes 46 Secs. 

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