Hahn: Quartet in G; Schmitt: Hasards; Dubois: Quartet in A minor

Hahn: Quartet in G; Schmitt: Hasards; Dubois: Quartet in A minor

by Ames Piano Quartet
     
 

This marvelously lush album by the Ames Piano Quartet is a joyous CD for the listener. Unfailingly romantic and expressive, it is an exemplary recital of chamber music. The three works the group has chosen represent some of the best piano quartets from lesser-known composers of the early 20th century. Reynaldo Hahn's "Quartet in G major" juxtaposes the various… See more details below

Overview

This marvelously lush album by the Ames Piano Quartet is a joyous CD for the listener. Unfailingly romantic and expressive, it is an exemplary recital of chamber music. The three works the group has chosen represent some of the best piano quartets from lesser-known composers of the early 20th century. Reynaldo Hahn's "Quartet in G major" juxtaposes the various instruments' lines in the first movement, allowing each instrument to do its own thing, but somehow it all works together. A breezy lightness and elegance graces the Allegro assai, while the Andante features a very 20th century tonality with somewhat dissonant, closely set strings that are slightly somber. The cello is beautifully deep, and the violin and viola sing over a sparkling piano. Hahn's quartet concludes with the sunshine and champagne Allegro assai that is warm and engaging. The APQ plays wonderfully together, although the strings are slightly out of tune from time to time. Florent Schmitt also contributes a piano quartet, which is particularly noteworthy for its rhythms. The movement "Zélie-au-pied-léger" is interpreted with urgency and exciting syncopations, followed by legato strings. As might be expected, "Demi-soupir" does have a sighing quality to it in the strings, while the piano hops about in a contrasting fashion. The leaping piano continues in the fourth movement, "Bourrée-bourrasque," which is punctuated by strings and terminates dramatically. The piece with the most old-fashioned sensibility is the earliest composition on the album, the "Quartet in A minor" by Théodore Dubois. The voices layer upon each other in the introduction, and there is great passion in the violin. But the first movement feels a bit too long, for all its beauty. Perhaps the same could be said for the entire work. The breathy phrases are nuanced in the Andante and a playful energy permeates the Allegro leggiero. The finale features a lovely melody in the violin that carries the listener with it. Here, the APQ give its all, as is fitting for the end of an album. These musicians are truly expressive, creating a dreamy musical atmosphere. But like rich cakes, an excess of such romantic compositions can be a bit overwhelming, and these pieces might be best appreciated heard one at a time. ~ V. Vasan

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/27/2011
Label:
Sono Luminus
UPC:
0053479214126
Rank:
227037

Tracks

  1. Piano Quartet in A minor  - Théodore Dubois  -  Ames Piano Quartet  - Brandon Bloodworth
  2. Hasards (Petit Concert en Quatre Parties), for piano, violin, viola & cello, Op. 96  - Florent Schmitt  -  Ames Piano Quartet  - Brandon Bloodworth
  3. Piano Quartet in G major (Quartet No. 3)  - Reynaldo Hahn  -  Ames Piano Quartet  - Brandon Bloodworth

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