Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 / Schumann: Fantasiestücke

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
Brahms was in some ways an anti-virtuoso. His concertos, for instance, are almost entirely lacking in flash, and while the challenges they pose are considerable, they are more musical than technical. Yet, Brahms was quite the virtuoso pianist himself, and he did occasionally provide players with some overtly chop-busting material. The Piano Quartet in G Minor contains some of Brahms's "showiest" music -- especially in the Finale -- though every note is also of serious intent. On this breathtakingly virtuosic recording, by an all-star team led by pianist Martha Argerich, the musicians revel in the music's detail, using the thick textures of the opening movement ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
Brahms was in some ways an anti-virtuoso. His concertos, for instance, are almost entirely lacking in flash, and while the challenges they pose are considerable, they are more musical than technical. Yet, Brahms was quite the virtuoso pianist himself, and he did occasionally provide players with some overtly chop-busting material. The Piano Quartet in G Minor contains some of Brahms's "showiest" music -- especially in the Finale -- though every note is also of serious intent. On this breathtakingly virtuosic recording, by an all-star team led by pianist Martha Argerich, the musicians revel in the music's detail, using the thick textures of the opening movement to create enormous intensity. The Scherzo is exquisitely diaphanous, and the dotted rhythms in the march section of the slow movement have never been so sharp. As for the Finale, it is arguably the most exciting on record -- played at quite a clip, and with an adrenaline-pumping accelerando leading into the dizzying coda. Equally memorable, though, is the delicacy of the playing in the quieter passages. Schumann's Fantasiestücke for piano, violin, and cello is a sweet work, though not as inspired as the Brahms. But it's a generous encore, and this high-powered trio makes the most of it. In a word: Fabulous!
All Music Guide - James Leonard
Even after playing it in concert together the previous summer, Argerich, Kremer, Bashmet, and Maisky still spent five days in Berlin recording Brahms' "Piano Quartet in G minor." They spent a Saturday in late February 2003 tuning up and the next four days recording, one day for each movement. On top of that, they practiced every morning back in their hotels. And this is Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, and Mischa Maisky here: not only arguably the four greatest living virtuosos on their instruments, but friends who've been playing chamber music together for decades. How could they have spent six hours recording the opening Allegro? How could they have spent any less? Considering that Argerich, Kremer, Bashmet, and Maisky are also four of the most highly individualistic and idiosyncratic performers in the history of classical music, they probably took five-and-three-quarter hours just working the kinks out. But the results are absolutely worth it: despite all their arduous work, Argerich, Kremer, Bashmet, and Maisky play with unrelenting recklessness, taking musical, dramatic, and -- most of all -- emotional chances few other performers would dare take. Rhythms, tempos, dynamics, phrasing, form, and every note are all infused with their individual and collective technical and interpretive virtuosity. While their performance may be too exciting to listen to every day, it is nevertheless one of the two or three greatest performances of Brahms' "Piano Quartet in G minor" ever recorded. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is right there in the room with you.
Gramophone - Duncan Druce
You'd expect this line-up of performers to give us something remarkable, and so they do.... Schumann's fantastical world, as well as Brahms's more overtly emotional one, is brought magnificently to life.
BBC Music Magazine - Andrew McGregor
From Argerich's quizzical opening phrase to the expressive rubato in the Intermezzo, the impressive breadth of the slow movement, and the thrill of the explosive Hungarian finale this is one of those chamber music performances that resonates in the mind long after the last notes have died away.... This generous, exuberant music-making is immensely rewarding, it's very well recorded, and I hope it's not the last studio project we'll hear from this fab four.

You'd expect this line-up of performers to give us something remarkable, and so they do.... Schumann's fantastical world, as well as Brahms's more overtly emotional one, is brought magnificently to life.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/13/2004
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028946370025
  • Catalog Number: 463700
  • Sales rank: 271,152

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 - Martha Argerich & Johannes Brahms (40:00)
  2. 5–8 Phantasiestücke (4) for violin, cello & piano in A Minor, Op. 88 - Robert Schumann & Martha Argerich (18:24)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yuri Bashmet Primary Artist
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