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Schumann Piano Quintet / String Quartets 1-3 / Zacharias / Cherubini Quartet

For all that they are periodically being re-discovered, Schumann's chamber works perpetually hang in the outer edges of the standard repertoire. Apparently, no matter how excellent, how empathetic, & how virtuosic the performances are, Schumann's chamber works resist the embrace of the standard repertoire. This is, of course, the standard repertoire's loss. All three of the string quartets are wonderful works in the Beethovenian tradition, and the magnificent piano quintet is more than sufficient justification for Schumann's single-handed invention of the genre. One of the first re-discoveries of the digital era and one of the finest re-discoveries of all time is re-released in this two-disc set recorded in the late '80s and early '90s by the Cherubini Quartett with pianist Christian Zacharias. Wholly central European in outlook, the Cherubini Quartett has a muscular technique, a powerful ensemble, a propulsive sense of rhythm, and a complete command of Romantic rhetoric, all qualities that serve the purposes of Schumann's music. From the mysterious harmonies of the A minor Quartet through the pastoral lyricism of the F major Quartet to the quirky energy of the A major Quartet, the Cherubini players are deep down in the groove with Schumann. Better yet is the Cherubini's piano quintet with Zacharias, principally because Zacharias is one of the best central European post-modernist pianists. His technique is awesome, his tone is magnificent, his dexterity is phenomenal, & his soul doth magnify the music. Joined in effortless ensemble and bracing blend with the Cherubini, Zacharias turns in one of the most compelling performances of the quintet of the postwar era. If there's a chance you might enjoy Schumann's chamber music, this is the set with which to start. EMI's early digital chamber music sound is far better -- far riper, rounder, deeper, & more realistic -- than most early digital chamber music sound.

Brand New /sealed 2CD
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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