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Sibelius: Complete Piano Quartets
     

Sibelius: Complete Piano Quartets

by Peter Lönnqvist
 
While this disc of Sibelius' early piano quartets is certainly intended only for the listener who has to have everything the Finnish master ever composed, those listeners will be well rewarded for their time and money. Because while no one would say that any of the works on this disc are first-rate Sibelius or, indeed, that they sound even

Overview

While this disc of Sibelius' early piano quartets is certainly intended only for the listener who has to have everything the Finnish master ever composed, those listeners will be well rewarded for their time and money. Because while no one would say that any of the works on this disc are first-rate Sibelius or, indeed, that they sound even remotely like Sibelius, there are still things here to delight and amaze the devoted Sibelius aficionado. The first work on the program, a four-movement "Quartet for two violins, cello, and piano" from the composer's nineteenth year, sounds like an elegantly accomplished pastiche of Mendelssohn's "Piano Trio in D minor" and who would have thought that Sibelius could ever sound like Mendelssohn? The second work, a five-movement work for violin, cello, and piano four hands, is called an opera and, although entirely lacking in vocals, it does sound dramatic in its melodramatic way. The remainder of the works are lighter but perhaps more charming. The "Scherzo for violin, cello, and piano four hands" sounds like a rougher Schubert. The "Andante cantabile for piano and harmonium" sounds like the sweetest parlor music ever composed. The "Quartet in G minor for violin, cello, piano, and harmonium" sounds like Schumann in an especially fay mood. The closing "Quartet in C minor for two violins, cello, and piano" from the composer's 26th year is the latest work on the program, but it still sounds less like Sibelius than Beethoven in a Nordic mood. The performances led by pianist Folke Grasbeck are uniformly persuasive and BIS' sound is as close to reality as any recording has ever gotten. For what it is, this is a wonderful disc.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/01/2005
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590011829
catalogNumber:
1182

Tracks

  1. Piano Quartet, for 2 violins, cello & piano in D minor, JS 157
  2. Ljunga Wirginia, quartet for violin, cello & piano 4-hands
  3. Scherzo, for violin, cello & piano, 4-hands in E major, JS 165
  4. Andante cantabile, for piano & harmonium in E flat major, JS 30b
  5. Quartet for violin, cello, harmonium & piano in G minor, JS 158
  6. Piano Quartet, for 2 violins, cello & piano in C minor, JS 156

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