Was Carl Maria von Weber born only to compose Der Freischütz? So, at least, many people have thought, forgetting the existence of a catalogue of more than 300 compositions in every genre. The Piano Quartet, written when Weber was only 22, already displays the first signs of the fantastic Romanticism that E.T A. Hoffmann was exploring at the same time. As for the delightful Violin Sonatas of 1810, refused by the publisher for their blatant originality (!), they airily mix different styles in an exotic multinational rendezvous. On this delightful recording, violinist Isabelle Faust partners once again with Alexander Melnikov (this time on fortepiano). For the Piano Quartet, this extraordinary duo is joined by Isabelle's brother Boris Faust on viola and cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.
"Among the legendary violinists who have addressed these often sparkling [violin sonatas] on record are Alfredo Campoli and Ruggiero Ricci. Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov open with No. 6 in C Major, a flamboyant three-movement piece that sets the tone for the entire set: charming, sweet melodies juxtaposed with sudden and whimsical shifts of tone and temper, especially in rather sudden harmonic shifts...Weber completed his 1809 Piano Quartet in Stuttgart, and the work contains Weber’s “contradictory” mannerisms that well define his Romantic temperament. The Matteo Gofriller instrument wielded by cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt has its singing moments to excellent effect."
-- Gary Lemco, Audad.com [12/2012]