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Brahms: Piano Quintet Op. 34 / Staier, Leipzig Quartet

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Leipzig Quartet is joined by award winning German pianist Andreas Staier who plays one of the earliest Steinway Pianos manufactured. Brahms' Piano Quintet went through at least three versions, a string quintet, a piano sonata for four hands and finally the version known now.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Here's something quite unusual! Andreas Staier is playing a Steinway model-D dating from 1901; not exactly contemporary with the Quintet (1865), but producing a noticeably lighter sound than its modern counterpart, and taking us closer to what would have been familiar to Brahms.

On this excellent recording we're aware that the dominating resonance of the present-day concert grand is missing; the balance shifts in favour of the strings, making the work seem more colourful, less sombre. The first movement and the Scherzo are especially successful, with full, resonant tuttis contrasting dramatically with the more tenuous, atmospheric music. The Leipzig Quartet maintain a notably pure sound, without excessive vibrato, adding to the feeling of transparency.

Other performers, such as Peter Serkin and the Guarneri Quartet, have delved more searchingly into the Quintet's emotional content, bringing out the moments of deep pathos or soaring lyricism. But Staier and the Leipzigers will expand your view of this great work.


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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Notes: Fürstliche Reitbahn, Bad Arolsen, Germany (10/17/2002-10/18/2002)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1861