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Louise Farrenc (1804-1875): Piano Quintets Nos. 1 & 2, Opp. 30-31 / Quintetto Bottesini

Album Summary

>Farrenc, Louise : Piano Quintet no 1 in A minor, Op. 30
>Farrenc, Louise : Piano Quintet no 2 in E major, Op. 31
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Louise Farrenc (1804-75) not only achieved the near impossible of getting her music published in 19th c. France but was awarded a piano professorship at the Paris Conservatoire. Compositions for piano formed a part of her oeuvre, alongside works for chamber ensemble and orchestra. These pieces gradually fell from the repertoire and only began to be revisited quite recently. Her two quintets are performed by acclaimed ensemble Quintetto Bottesini, founded in 2006 with the intent of rediscovering rarely performed musical repertoire for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano.

American Record Guide, March/April 2015
If you like the chamber music of Schumann or Mendelssohn, you will almost certainly enjoy these works. They are romantic and energetic, but never emotionally excessive. Like Schubert's Trout Quintet, both are written for piano with violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Including the bass allows more melodic space for the cello, and often the texture is very rich. Quintet 1 is something of a showpiece for the piano, while 2 has all instruments contributing more equally. The performances are very good. The phrasing is sensitive, and there are some sublime passages for the strings alone - I love hearing bass in chamber music! Otherwise, these are very fine readings of works that deserve to be heard. Given the rarity of such recordings, this would be a very safe purchase.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teatro Torti, Bevagna, Perugia, Italy (10/05/2013-10/08/2013).



Reviews

Quintets That Beguile and Delight
In her day (the mid 1800's), Louise Farrenc was renowned as a piano virtuoso, teacher, and a composer. Today, she's most likely to be performed in programs showcasing obscure women composers.

And that's a shame. As this recording of her two piano quintets demonstrates, Farrenc's music has plenty to recommend it regardless of gender. Farrenc's talent as a pianist was well-documented, and the piano part of these quintets reflects her facility at the keyboard. The piano weaves complicated textures throughout the swirl of strings, while contributing some brilliant solo passages.

Farrenc's style is similar to that of Mendelssohn, with attractive and tuneful melodies that just seem to flow one to another. The structure of the quartets is formal, but the music doesn't sound like its in a straitjacket. Her rich harmonies and third-relations keep her music moving in delightfully unexpected directions.

The Quintetto Bottesini performs these works with sensitivity and enthusiasm. Louise Farrenc's name may not have the recognition it did in the 1840's, but recordings such as this may help remedy that situation.
Submitted on 06/11/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Farrenc, Louise : Piano Quintet no 1 in A minor, Op. 30
  • Ensemble: Quintetto Bottesini
  • Notes: Teatro Torti, Bevagna, Perugia, Italy (10/05/2013-10/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Farrenc, Louise : Piano Quintet no 2 in E major, Op. 31
  • Ensemble: Quintetto Bottesini
  • Notes: Teatro Torti, Bevagna, Perugia, Italy (10/05/2013-10/08/2013)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music