Schumann: Piano Quintet; Piano Quartet / Alexander Melnikov, piano; Jerusalem Qrt.

Audio Samples

>Schumann, Robert : Quartet for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 47
>Schumann, Robert : Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Quartet for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 47
>Schumann, Robert : Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Piano Quintet Op.44 and Piano Quartet Op.47 date from a brief period during which Robert Schumann focused his attention intensively on chamber music (between June 1842 and January 1843). These works underline his wish to 'escape' from the solo piano, now 'too restricted' for his overflowing imagination, as he told Clara. The Piano Quintet, which made a powerful impression on Wagner, is probably one of his most sophisticated works, into which Schumann poured all the creative energy he derived from meticulous examination of similar works by his predecessors, especially Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert. These performances by the Jerusalem Quartet and pianist Alexander Melnikov focus on the introspective nature of these gems of the Romantic period.

"While the piano quartet has great vitality and charm, the quintet is on a different level of achievement: a fiendish pianistic challenge as well as a masterpiece of the genre... In the Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov they have a collaborator of rare musical intelligence as well as virtuosity. Another award contender? I guess so." -The Observer

The Observer
While the piano quartet has great vitality and charm, the quintet is on a different level of achievement: a fiendish pianistic challenge as well as a masterpiece of the genre... In the Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov they have a collaborator of rare musical intelligence as well as virtuosity. Another award contender? I guess so.

BBC Music Magazine
What makes [Melnikov's] playing so remarkable is an ability to achieve an ideal balance...Melnikov blends his tone to match exactly that of the strings...Naturally the Jerusalem Quartet is a hugely responsive partner in this process...With a recording that offers depth of sound and admirable clarity, Schumann's two chamber masterpieces are brilliantly served.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
In the days of the LP, I remember having to hunt far and wide for recordings of the Piano Quartet, long overshadowed by the popularity of the structurally more unified and straightforward quintet. That may finally be changing; there are now numerous recordings of this inspired product of Schumann's so-called "chamber music year" (1842). There is even a resurrected and reconstructed 1829 C-minor Piano Quartet, though I've not heard it, recorded by the Trio Parnassus.

International Record Review, June 2012
These performances are marked by great sensitivity and freshness as well as having a natural rhythmic flow that is by no means always the case in recordings of these two masterpieces...an immensely satisfying addition to the catalogue. A combination of ardour and control characterizes the supremly musical approach here, with extremely well-judged balance between piano and strings and a strong sense of direction.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (07/2011).



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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Quartet for Piano and Strings in E flat major, Op. 47
  • Performer: Alexander Melnikov (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Jerusalem String Quartet
  • Running Time: 26 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1842

>Schumann, Robert : Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44
  • Performer: Alexander Melnikov (Piano)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1842