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Emanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo, Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma - Brahms: The Piano Quartets Opp. 25, 26 & 60 (1990)

22-09-2016, 10:38
Classical Music | FLAC / APE

Title: Brahms: The Piano Quartets Opp. 25, 26 & 60
Year Of Release: 1990
Label: Sony Classical
Genre: Classical
Quality: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks)
Total Time: 02:07:34
Total Size: 292 / 572 Mb


CD 1:
Quartet No. 1 in G minor for Piano and Strings, Op. 25
01. I. Allegro
02. II. Intermezzo. Allegro ma non troppo - Trio. Animato
03. III. Andante con moto
04. IV. Rondo alla Zingarese. Presto

Quartet No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Strings, Op. 60
05. I. Allegro non troppo
06. II. Scherzo. Allegro
07. III. Andante
08. IV. Finale. Allegro comodo

CD 2:
Quartet No. 2 in A major for Piano and Strings, Op. 26
01. I. Allegro non troppo
02. II. Poco adagio
03. III. Scherzo - Trio. Poco allegro
04. IV. Finale. Allegro

Emanuel Ax - Piano
Jaime Laredo - Viola
Isaac Stern - Violin
Yo-Yo Ma - Cello
Johannes Brahms - Composer

The piano quartet--one of music's many curious misnomers--relies on a particularly subtle interplay between its contrasting textures of strings and keyboard. The synergy of the four musicians on this CD (each a star on his respective instrument), as in their account of the Mozart piano quartets, creates a shared dynamic that brings the expressive depths that Brahms positively poured into this idiom. They've managed to develop a style of breathing together with a kind of lucidly organic inevitability.

The first quartet (in G minor) exhales Brahms's empathetic engagement with the chamber music of Schubert (the piece marked his Viennese debut) but would have a profound impact on Arnold Schoenberg, who wrote a notable essay on it extolling "Brahms the progressive" and later scored it for full orchestra. There's a similarly Schubertian leisureliness to the Quartet in A, but in these musicians' hands, its length unfolds as a horn of plenty, fertile in its musical invention, with an especially magical lushness in the romantic "Nachtstuck" slow movement. But the real emotional centerpiece here is the C Minor Quartet (also known as the Werther Quartet from its purported inspiration in Goethe's novel). Ax, Stern, Laredo, and Ma bring a concentrated power and broiling originality to their account, instilling its moments of anguish and harmonic dislocation with searingly tragic energy. The Andante in particular emerges as a sustained rhapsody as the musicians play off each other's phrasing to build a statement of majestic eloquence. --Thomas May

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