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Brahms, Dvorak: Piano Quintets / Concertante

Release Date: 11/05/2002 
Label:  Meridian Records   Catalog #: 84459   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsAntonín Dvorák
Performer:  Jennifer FrautschiKirsten JohnsonAlexis Pia GerlachXiao-Dong Wang,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertante Chamber Players
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In a nutshell, I can't imagine any chamber music lover not responding positively to such virile, joyous, technically assured performances of these marvelous pieces. Each showcases some of New York's finest young team players, with pianist Jeremy Denk acquitting himself well in both works. It's too bad that he's slightly recessed in the mix, otherwise the engineering perfectly suits these scores from their most intimate sentiments to their fullest, quasi-orchestral dimensions.

You might consider the Brahms Quintet's outer movements as a more flexible, latter-day counterpart to the gaunt sonorities and analytic drive that characterizes the classic Fleisher/Juilliard Quartet recording. The Dvorák hardly lacks for sparkle
Read more and panache, although I prefer the Panenka/Panocha Quartet edition's slightly slower tempos, which allow the music's rustic undercurrents their full dancing due. And for additional tonal warmth and a wider degree of ensemble inflection regarding phrasing and dynamics, I suspect the reference Rubinstein/Guarneri Quartet collaborations will continue to stand the test of time. In sum, Denk and colleagues are easily recommendable, while Rubinstein/Guarneri remains indispensable.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Jennifer Frautschi (Violin), Kirsten Johnson (Viola), Alexis Pia Gerlach (Cello),
Xiao-Dong Wang (Violin), Jeremy Denk (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertante Chamber Players
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861-1864; Austria 
Venue:  Academy of Arts & Letters, New York City 
Length: 41 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Quintet for Piano and Strings no 2 in A major, Op. 81/B 155 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Xiao-Dong Wang (Violin), Colin Jacobsen (Violin), Rachel Shapiro (Viola),
Zvi Plesser (Cello), Jeremy Denk (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertante Chamber Players
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 
Venue:  Academy of Arts & Letters, New York City 
Length: 38 Minutes 14 Secs. 

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