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Brahms: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 51; Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115 / Michael Collins, clarinet, Brodsky Quartet


Notes & Reviews:

The Brodsky Quartet present the first of two discs featuring Brahms's complete string quartets. The String Quartet Op. 51 No. 2 is warm, affirmative and relaxed, with few extremes of mood or tempo. The Clarinet Quintet, op. 115 explores an atmosphere of elegy and nostalgia, producing a mood of autumnal resignation. Having often performed this work in concert, the renowned Brodsky Quartet and clarintetist Michael Collins come together once again for this recording.

The Guardian, 6th March 2014
Except perhaps for the stately way in which the Clarinet Quintet begins, there are no surprises in these performances. Michael Collins plays with his usual suave assurance, the Brodsky Quartet manage the Quintet and the A minor String Quartet immaculately. What is lacking, though, is any sense of necessity.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2014
Perhaps no clarinettist around today is capable of floating a purer, smoother, more beautifully contoured melodic line than Michael Collins, and he is often heard at his best in the four late masterpieces that Brahms dedicated to the artistry of the clarinettist Richard Mnhlfeld.

Financial Times, 5th April 2014
The Brodskys offer a mellow account of the former and blend well with Collins in the latter - especially the great Adagio, which has a shimmering, ruminative quality.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2014
Both [Collins] and the Brodskys erase all possible strenuousness and poacity (always dangers in such richly contrapuntal writing) with supreme clarity, vigour and refinement. Finely recorded, this is outstanding even by Collins and the Brodsky's standards.


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