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Dvorák: Piano Quintets / Firkusny, Ridge String Quartet

Release Date: 07/19/2007 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 60436   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Robert RinehartPeter WyrickKrista Bennion-FeeneyRudolf Firkusny,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ridge String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Warm and characterful playing from the world's foremost exponent of Czech music.

Dvorak was only 30 when writing his first A major Piano Quintet, given its premiere in Prague in 1872. Dissatisfied, even with his attempted revision some 15 years later, he chose not to publish it but to take up the challenge anew in the now universally loved A major Quintet (Op. 81), completed in the early autumn of 1887. How good, all the same, that the earlier work eventually (in 1922) found rescuers, and that both quintets can now be compared and enjoyed on CD.

The latest version comes from Rudolf Firkusny (long recognized as ''the world's foremost exponent of Czech music'') and America's youthful Ridge Quartet, and what
Read more warm and characterful playing it is too. Their approach to the opening movement of the earlier work is more affirmative than that of Richter and the Borodins, on Philips, as if to stress the composer's respect for Brahms rather than to pre-echo the Bohemian lyrical charmer to come, as the Russians do. In the Andante sostenuto their timing is much closer to the printed score's suggested 9'50'' than the more leisurely Russians, and this somewhat discursive movement surely benefits from a little extra flow.

In the maturer work the Russians emerge as the more mercurial, and the newcomers as the more stable, of the two teams. The first movement's unpredictable mood changes are conveyed without such sharp fluctuations of tempo, and I certainly prefer the latter's less hurried response to the C sharp minor second subject so as to allow it to sing. The Dumka is most beautifully timed and shaded, again (like the B28 slow movement) benefiting from a slightly faster flow... [T]he finale in its turn is full of local colour, particularly its reel-like second subject. Whereas the Russians were somewhat backwardly recorded at a live concert during the Prague Spring Festival ten years ago, the newcomers emerge more full-bodied and forward.

-- Joan Chissell, Gramophone [7/1992]
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Works on This Recording

Quintet for Piano and Strings no 2 in A major, Op. 81/B 155 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Robert Rinehart (Violin), Peter Wyrick (Cello), Krista Bennion-Feeney (Violin),
Rudolf Firkusny (Piano), Maria Lambros (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ridge String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 03/1990 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters NYC 
Length: 39 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Quintet for Piano and Strings no 1 in A major, Op. 5/B 28 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Peter Wyrick (Cello), Krista Bennion-Feeney (Violin), Maria Lambros (Viola),
Rudolf Firkusny (Piano), Robert Rinehart (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ridge String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 03/1990 
Venue:  American Academy of Arts and Letters NYC 
Length: 26 Minutes 30 Secs. 

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