Christoph Eschenbach reunites with Paris-based Thymos Quartetin Schubert’s triumphant chamber work, the “Trout” Quintet, a recording that celebrates the 80th birthday of the great pianist / conductor. From babbling brook and leaping fish, this present-day Schubertiade relocates to a 19thcentury Viennese salon, with a selection of the composer’s waltzes in unique chamber music arrangements and concludes with selected Ländler, performed by pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, ranging in mood from iridescent to intimate. “vivid and high-powered ... an ensemble of exceptional musical imagination and skill” (Washington Post) “a magnificent album ... a rare example of expressiveness and distinction” (Le Monde, onRead more Dvo?ák’sLove Songs, Cypresses, Piano Quintet in A major, AV2234)
In this delightful recording, the limelight is shared between Christoph Eschenbach’s crystalline piano playing and the creamy string sound, underpinned by the rumbling, bouncing bass. The tempo is elastic, yielding. And there’s no rigid ensemble, either; the mood is convivial, like conversing friends who occasionally interrupt each other. Eschenbach’s solo moments have memorable rhetorical swagger.
– BBC Music Magazine
Eschenbach and the Thymos Quartet had me smiling from the very first bars of Schubert’s Trout Quintet. It’s a performance teeming with delightful incident right the way through, in fact, yet such consistent attention to detail never precludes expansive phrasing or inhibits burbling rhythmic vivacity.