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ClassicsOnline Home » Piano Quartets - MOZART, W.A. / HUMMEL, J.N. / BEETHOVEN, L. van (Ames Piano Quartet)
Three excellent examples of Chamber Music are featured on this disc: Mozart’s Quartet in E-flat Major, KV 452, Hummel’s Quartet in G Major, and Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 16. The Mozart Quartet begins with charming and somewhat noble, playful music. The 2nd movement opens with some warm and introspective tunes (extremely well played), giving way to a rather punchy 3rd movement (Allegretto) with a catchy motive that forms the basis for the concluding section of the piece.
The Hummel Quartet is a short two movement work that opens with thematic material being passed from piano to strings, forming the basis for a dialog between the two that is both warm and organic. The 2nd movement opens with strings, but quickly gives way to striving piano music that leads to some rather delightful interplay between the various groups of instruments, each playing a vital and balanced part in the musical conversation – a very intellectually stimulating musical conversation. This is wonderful music that is far too infrequently performed, and this recording makes you want to hear it live.
Finally, we come to Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat Major. The 1st movement (Grave) opens with some strong chords that lead into questioning, directed music that is perfectly balanced – no instrument is too loud, or too soft, or too dominating. Rather, each gives exactly what it should and it feels just right. The 2nd movement (Andante Cantabile) starts slowly and somewhat tenderly, with the strings picking up the thematic material and mood and the piano guiding the way. This contrasts with the 3rd movement (Rondo) which starts proudly and self-confidently, and leads to sterner material, finishing rather in between the two.
This recording is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, the music being performed in a well balanced and delightful manner, the quality of the recording is top-notch, and the liner notes are well-written and informative without being overly technical. Very highly recommended.more....
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Piano Quartets - MOZART, W.A. / HUMMEL, J.N. / BEE...