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Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 25
Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 25
Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 25

Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 25 / Schumann: Fantasiestücke, Op. 88

Product ID : 44836646

Galleon Product ID 44836646
UPC / ISBN 028946370025
Shipping Weight 0.18 lbs
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Shipping Dimension 5.67 x 5.08 x 0.2 inches
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About Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 25

Amazon.com In recording the first and most popular of Brahms' three piano quartets with three of her favorite chamber-music partners, Argerich follows in the wake of some of her predecessors. Yet she never seems in danger of disappearing in one of the crater-sized footprints left behind by those giants, nor does she seem interested in competing with the kind of performances they gave. For all of its freshness, verve and conceptual freedom, this performance of Brahms’s Opus 25 is not as joyously extroverted as Rubinstein’s 1932 version with members of the Pro Arte Quartet (BMG Classics), as thunderously exciting as Gilels' 1948 recording with members of the Beethoven Quartet (Doremi) or as intellectually probing as Serkin's 1949 account with members of the Busch Quartet (EMI). The goals of Argerich, Kremer, Bashmet, and Maisky seem closer to those Schoenberg mentioned in 1937, just after he completed his famous orchestral transcription of the Piano Quartet In G minor: "It is always played very badly, because the pianist plays louder the better he is, and you hear nothing of the strings," Schoenberg said. "I wanted to hear it all for once, and that's what I’ve achieved." Argerich and her trio of superstar Russian string players achieve it, too, even in the devil-may-care-abandon of the finale--a breathless, relentlessly pounding movement in gypsy style. What Schoenberg accomplishes with an orchestra that includes trombones, xylophone, and glockenspiel, Argerich matches with her mastery of touch and pedaling. She produces a wickedly seductive and penetrating cimbalom-like timbre that allows her to dominate the movement without swamping the other players. Despite its late opus number, Schumann's rarely performed Fantasiestuecke is the composer's first attempt at the piano trio genre. Argerich, Kremer, and Maisky perform it with taste and virtuosity. --Stephen Wigler