The peerless Takacs Quartet recently nominated for a Gramophone award for their second disc of Brahms's string quartets, continue their exploration of the Romantic chamber music tradition with this disc of Schumann. The Piano Quintet is by far Schumann's most popular chamber work and one of the most beloved works in the genre. Schumann was the first romantic composer to pair the piano with the string quartet. Schumann studied the string quartets of Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn and his quartet Op. 41 No. 3 demonstrates these influences. However, it contains many highly original strokes, particularly the casting of the scherzo as a set of variations. The Takacs Quartet are joined by Marc-Andre Hamelin in an invigorating partnership that has already been widely acclaimed on the concert platform.
There are artists who have the gift of magnifying a work that was thought more or less successful. That is the case here of the young quartet Hermes which we owe a splendid recording of three quartets by Robert Schumann. If the Third has always seemed the most successful, the first two seemed littered writing weaknesses. Nothing like here with the Hermes who offer us a worried Schumann, enthusiastic, romantic, giving this triptych cohesion rarely heard such a level. France has truly become the last twenty years a large string quartet nation, thanks to the combined actions of Pro Quartet and the beautiful teaching of Ysaяe Quartet. A new record provides further evidence. Hermes Quartet is a young training to monitor closely.
"…Die vier jungen Musiker nehmen sich des ersten und dritten Quartetts aus Robert Schumanns op. 41 an, und man kann nur bedauern, dass nicht die kompletteTrias eingespielt wurde – mit solcher Sensibilität wird hier echtes Zusammenspiel verwirklicht, mit solcher Natürlichkeit erschließt sich Schumanns poetische Ausdruckswelt. (…) Immer erscheint beim Quatuor Renoir der Klang wunderbar austariert, auch im forte nie gewaltsam, immer erscheinen die Stimmen sinnvoll aufeinander bezogen, im Dialog feinsinnig korrespondierend. Das Ideal des gemeinsamen Atmens, der Verschmelzung der Individualitäten – hier wird es in schönster Weise verwirklicht.Eine Aufnahme, die das Glück, das Clara Schumann nach der Aufführung der Quartette an ihrem Geburtstag empfand, unschwer nachvollziehbar macht." 10/10 ~klassik-heute
This recording of a single concert is arguably the finest disc MDG have placed in their catalogue. (…) The sound in itself needs absolutely no allowance for concert conditions - or studio for that matter - it is perfectly judged for each instrument and as an ensemble. Highly recommended as one of the best chamber discs I've ever had the privilege of hearing. SA-CD.net
"…MDG provides typically fine sonics, with the strings well balanced against a piano that turns a bit glassy in its upper register at higher dynamic levels. The real question is whether or not, with such fine versions already available from various Czech groups on Supraphon (Panocha Quartet) and Praga (Klánský/Prazák Quartet), you will want to spend premium price to acquire this newcomer, even if the coupling of these two particular works is somewhat unique. This is a decision you must make for yourself; if you ultimately opt to go for it, you won’t be sorry." ~classicstoday
“The Duo Sonare presents recording premieres of guitar music by Mauro Giuliano and Ferdinando Carulli on historical instruments: arrangements of compositions by Mozart and fascinating original works by these two contemporaries of his.”