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Schumann: Piano Quintet Op. 44, String Quartets Op. 41 / Zacharias, Leipzig Quartet

Schumann / Zacharias / Leipziger String Quartet
Release Date: 05/04/2010 
Label:  Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog #: 3071610   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert Schumann
Performer:  Christian Zacharias
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 46 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Schumann [in the Piano Quintet] knew what he was writing for, and the balance among the strings with the piano is well-nigh perfect. The dark and burnished tone of the Leipzigers is perfectly suited to this piece, and their practiced and well-judged tempos only add to the desirability of this release. I have been recommending the Bernstein/Juilliard as my benchmark, and I suppose that still stands, along with Argerich and the Takács/Marc-André Hamelin on Hyperion. This release joins those distinguished efforts.

And the good news continues. MDG advertises this as the first recording of the first two of the string quartets in the original version. Schumann made a lot of changes regarding dynamics, tempo, and
Read more even a number of excised passages after the first performances. But as the notes admit, the only authorized versions are the ones that included these changes, the composer again knowing exactly what he wanted when he embarked on the changes, tightening up the work and making it more cohesive. But the Leipzig Quartet decided that it would be worthwhile to record the first thoughts of the composer, and I think the decision is correct, even though hearing them in this form will not change any minds about the commonly accepted text. But what excites me is that I may have just found a modern-day equal to the Juilliard Quartet’s trend-setting version from the 1960s. The Leipzig is expressively superior and technically on par, while MDG’s recording greatly advances the depth and width of the soundstage. Well, let me calm down a moment—the Juilliard still plays the authorized version, and as such remains in top place. But these discs are just too good to pass, as playing like this demands an audience, and a frequently attending one at that. Want List qualifications definitely met."

FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quintet for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 44 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Christian Zacharias (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 12/02/2009 
Venue:  Ehem. Ackerhaus der Abtei Marienmünster 
Length: 28 Minutes 40 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings in A major, Op. 41 no 3 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Venue:  Ehem. Ackerhaus der Abtei Marienmünster 
Length: 28 Minutes 50 Secs. 
3.
Quartet for Strings in A minor, Op. 41 no 1 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Venue:  Ehem. Ackerhaus der Abtei Marienmünster 
Length: 23 Minutes 13 Secs. 
4.
Quartet for Strings in F major, Op. 41 no 2 by Robert Schumann
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Venue:  Ehem. Ackerhaus der Abtei Marienmünster 
Length: 23 Minutes 13 Secs. 

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