Notes and Editorial Reviews
If not for the predominantly square rhythms and repetitive-to-a-fault main theme, you might mistake the full textures and imitative writing in the first movement of Karl Goldmark's 1879 B-flat Piano Quintet for Brahms. Still, a singular compositional voice begins to emerge in the development section's sustained string solos surrounded by rapid piano filigree, as well as in the recapitulation's modulatory twists and turns. The long Adagio begins with a poignant cello feature and gradually gains contrapuntal and expressive complexity as it progresses. Some might liken the Ländler-like Scherzo's obsessive dotted rhythms to those of Schumann; perhaps its earthy melodic charm resonates in more Schubertian terms. If the spirited finale goes
on a bit long in proportion to its musical content, the syncopated accents on unresolved chords keep our attention from wandering.
The C-sharp minor Piano Quintet dates from the end of the composer's long life, and it proves a far more interesting, texturally varied, and musically wide-ranging piece, from the first movement's jagged urgency and the Adagio's gorgeously unfolding long lines to the third movement's Hungarian Dance breakouts and the finale's jaunty, narrative drive and weird thematic allusions to "Hail To The Chief".
The Quatuor Sine Nomine members aim for all the tonal variety they can muster in these works, even when both violinists occasionally push their vibratos into cloying territory. The ensemble's kinetic interaction with Oliver Treindl's rock-solid and imaginatively-shaded keyboard work certainly will please collectors who know the pianist's other CPO releases devoted to other chamber rarities of the Romantic Era. As is often the case, CPO's co-production with Bayerischer Rudfunk yields superb sonics, although the German booklet notes' English translation leaves a lot to be desired. Warmly recommended.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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