Author Topic: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34  (Read 7414 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« on: February 11, 2009, 10:59:22 AM »
Last night I heard the excellent young musicians of the Ensemble ACJW in Brahms' Piano Quintet, and realized that I don't think I have a recording.  Suggestions for a good one in (fairly) modern sound?  I have read great reports of the Guarneri with Rubinstein, and will probably get it, but I'm also thinking of one of the following:

Artemis Quartet with Andsnes
Juilliard String Quartet with Fleisher
Quartetto Italiano with Pollini

--Bruce


“I set down a beautiful chord on paper—and suddenly it rusts.”

- Alfred Schnittke

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

ChamberNut

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 11:06:32 AM »
Bruce,

I have the Amadeus Quartet w/ Eschenbach.  Of course, just like everything else, it is the only recording I have.  0:)

Dr. Dread

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 11:08:06 AM »
Last night I heard the excellent young musicians of the Ensemble ACJW in Brahms' Piano Quintet, and realized that I don't think I have a recording.  Suggestions for a good one in (fairly) modern sound?  I have read great reports of the Guarneri with Rubinstein, and will probably get it, but I'm also thinking of one of the following:

Artemis Quartet with Andsnes
Juilliard String Quartet with Fleisher
Quartetto Italiano with Pollini

--Bruce




*faints*

Offline Brewski

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 11:13:21 AM »
Bruce,

I have the Amadeus Quartet w/ Eschenbach.  Of course, just like everything else, it is the only recording I have.  0:)

I saw that one, too, and I'm positively disposed toward Eschenbach (I know some aren't).  I gather you like it? 

*faints*

;D  ;D  ;D  Hey, All Ligeti and no Brahms makes Bruce a dull boy.

--Bruce
“I set down a beautiful chord on paper—and suddenly it rusts.”

- Alfred Schnittke

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Dr. Dread

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 11:15:02 AM »
;D  ;D  ;D  Hey, All Ligeti and no Brahms makes Bruce a dull boy.

You're learning. ;)

I'll see what I have tonight when I get home. I won't recommend it, but I'll look at it.  ;D

ChamberNut

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 11:16:13 AM »
I saw that one, too, and I'm positively disposed toward Eschenbach (I know some aren't).  I gather you like it? 

--Bruce

I do very much Bruce!  ....but....not having heard other recordings, I'd hate to say that I "whole heartedly" recommend it. ;D  Why don't you do the sensible thing and start a poll?  ;) :D


Offline Brewski

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 11:18:57 AM »
You're learning. ;)

I'll see what I have tonight when I get home. I won't recommend it, but I'll look at it.  ;D

Thanks, I'd be curious what you have.  And hey, I'm a Brahms fan from way back!  It's just this particular piece that has somehow escaped my notice, for some reason.

Why don't you do the sensible thing and start a poll?  ;) :D

 ;D

--Bruce
“I set down a beautiful chord on paper—and suddenly it rusts.”

- Alfred Schnittke

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Dr. Dread

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 11:24:50 AM »
Thanks, I'd be curious what you have.  And hey, I'm a Brahms fan from way back!  It's just this particular piece that has somehow escaped my notice, for some reason.

That happens when you have hundreds of years of music.

nut-job

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2009, 11:32:17 AM »
Last night I heard the excellent young musicians of the Ensemble ACJW in Brahms' Piano Quintet, and realized that I don't think I have a recording.  Suggestions for a good one in (fairly) modern sound?  I have read great reports of the Guarneri with Rubinstein, and will probably get it, but I'm also thinking of one of the following:

Artemis Quartet with Andsnes
Juilliard String Quartet with Fleisher
Quartetto Italiano with Pollini

--Bruce

Of those I have the Pollini, and it is excellent.  Schiff with Takacs and Hough with Takacs are also worthy contenders.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2009, 11:41:42 AM »
Of those I have the Pollini, and it is excellent.  Schiff with Takacs and Hough with Takacs are also worthy contenders.


Thanks! 

--Bruce
“I set down a beautiful chord on paper—and suddenly it rusts.”

- Alfred Schnittke

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Valentino

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2009, 11:59:07 AM »
I have Italiano & Pollini and Emerson & Fleisher. Both are *very* good, but to get Emerson on disk you have to buy the quartets too.

EDIT after reading dirkonk's post below: My Italiano & Pollini is the one on DG, an analogue recording from 1980.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 12:13:09 PM by Valentino »
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2009, 12:04:50 PM »
I LOVE this piece of music. Back when I was addicted to the symphonic format and thought I could never appreciate chamber, someone suggested I listen to the Brahms Piano Quintet. They were right--it's very much a symphonic style piece, just for smaller forces. And when the recording is good...WOW!

IIRC, there were actually two different recordings of Pollini with the Italian--one on Philips and a later one on DGG. I think. Could be the other way around. Damn. My memory may be wonky on which is which...but back in the day, I listened to both and preferred the earlier of the two performances, both for quality of ensemble and phrasing and oddly enough for sonics. The later one seemed more like a run-through and the sound was a tad shrill. Just FWIW. (I still do possess my preferred version, but will have to wait until I'm home to post which label it's on. Sorry.)

I've heard the Eschenbach/Amadeus, too--but a long time ago. My memory is that the balance is way on the pianist's side, which isn't exactly a deal breaker, but good to know if you're looking for a more balanced presentation. Eschenbach was certainly in a power mode for this.

Another rendition I love is one by Dezso Ranki and (I think) the Bartok Quartet on a '70s Hungaraton recording--this one exceptionally lively and just raw enough to make you get the idea that musicians were having one hell of a good time playing the piece.

All of these--except POSSIBLY the later of the two Pollini/Italian (don't recall for sure)--are analog, and I personally have them all on LP, but I'll assume that the transfer to digits has been successful. Certainly, all should be in the budget range pricewise.

Whatever you end up with, enjoy! It's a very exciting and satisfying piece.

Dirk

Offline Que

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2009, 12:15:51 PM »
Last night I heard the excellent young musicians of the Ensemble ACJW in Brahms' Piano Quintet, and realized that I don't think I have a recording.  Suggestions for a good one in (fairly) modern sound?  I have read great reports of the Guarneri with Rubinstein, and will probably get it, but I'm also thinking of one of the following:

Artemis Quartet with Andsnes
Juilliard String Quartet with Fleisher
Quartetto Italiano with Pollini

--Bruce

Second the Rubinstein/Guarneri Qt.

Of the others I know Pollini/Qt Italiano (on DG) - not worthy IMO. Detached and uninvolved.

Q

DFO

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2009, 12:30:37 PM »
And to "archeologist" like me:
Harold Bauer and the Flonzaley SQ
Clara Haskil and the Winthertur SQ
George Szell and Budapest SQ
Victor Aller an Hollywood SQ
 ;) ;)

nut-job

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2009, 12:40:55 PM »
IIRC, there were actually two different recordings of Pollini with the Italian--one on Philips and a later one on DGG. I think. Could be the other way around. Damn. My memory may be wonky on which is which...but back in the day, I listened to both and preferred the earlier of the two performances, both for quality of ensemble and phrasing and oddly enough for sonics. The later one seemed more like a run-through and the sound was a tad shrill. Just FWIW. (I still do possess my preferred version, but will have to wait until I'm home to post which label it's on. Sorry.)

The later one was the DGG, which was made after a personnel change in 1977, I think in 1979, in analog.  The earlier one on Philips (1974) has not been released on CD, to my knowledge and I have not heard it (but would like to). 

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2009, 12:44:02 PM »
And to "archeologist" like me:
Harold Bauer and the Flonzaley SQ
Clara Haskil and the Winthertur SQ
George Szell and Budapest SQ
Victor Aller an Hollywood SQ
 ;) ;)

I agree. Superb choices. And yes, I too have 'em all (except the Haskil--darn, how'd I miss that one?). However, our friend Bruce might prefer a slightly newer recording for his first rendition.

 ;)

Dirk

Offline Brewski

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2009, 12:50:37 PM »
I agree. Superb choices. And yes, I too have 'em all (except the Haskil--darn, how'd I miss that one?). However, our friend Bruce might prefer a slightly newer recording for his first rendition.

 ;)

Dirk

Yes, I'm a bit of a "sonics nut," so my first choice would be for a fairly recent one, but those look interesting as well.  It is certainly a piece for which I could see having 3 or 4 recordings. 

The one last night was very intense and muscular; the finale was almost demonic!

--Bruce
“I set down a beautiful chord on paper—and suddenly it rusts.”

- Alfred Schnittke

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2009, 12:55:47 PM »
The later one was the DGG, which was made after a personnel change in 1977, I think in 1979, in analog.  The earlier one on Philips (1974) has not been released on CD, to my knowledge and I have not heard it (but would like to). 

Thanks for verifying that, nut-job. I remember being surprised that the same folks (well, almost) should release the same work on two different labels only a few years apart. That was about the time that the first digital LPs were beginning to show up, so I couldn't recall if the later one was still analog or was DGG's effort to make the piece available in the new recording technology. Either way, though, if it's only their later version that's available on CD, I'd say AVOID. To my ears, anyway, they were not fully engaged--or maybe just not having much fun--during the later recording. If you can find the earlier one, have a listen; it's a different animal altogether (though IIRC the balance in this one too favors the piano) and well worth hearing.

Cheers,

Dirk

Offline Brewski

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2009, 01:31:28 PM »
I LOVE this piece of music. Back when I was addicted to the symphonic format and thought I could never appreciate chamber, someone suggested I listen to the Brahms Piano Quintet. They were right--it's very much a symphonic style piece, just for smaller forces. And when the recording is good...WOW!

Meant to respond to this earlier, since I agree!  It's very "big-boned" with a real symphonic sweep.  I can tell it will become one of my favorite Brahms pieces--which is saying something. 

--Bruce
“I set down a beautiful chord on paper—and suddenly it rusts.”

- Alfred Schnittke

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2009, 01:33:27 PM »
Before I forget to mention 'em, there ARE a few versions that you might want to check out later--after you have your first one safely under your belt. In addition to the historic versions listed by DFO above, Richter teamed with the Borodin SQ (early stereo...I have this on vinyl and don't know how well it's been scrubbed up for CD--maybe someone else can comment) and a live version on BBC with Curzon paired with the Amadeus SQ. I can't say that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Curzon fan, but at times the guy could be r-e-a-l-l-y good, and this is one of those times IMO.

FWIW,

Dirk