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Brahms: String Sextets no 1 & 2 / Raphael Ensemble

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Sextet for Strings no 1 in B flat major, Op. 18
>Brahms, Johannes : Sextet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 36
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'74 minutes of ravishing beauty' (Amazon.co.uk)

'A treasure trove. Glorious music, gloriously played' (Hi Fi News)

'These are superb performances; the recording is vivid and immediate' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Glorious performances ... [they] can take their place beside any of the great chamber music recordings of the past, and will continue to set standards for years to come' (Gramophone)

'Matchless accounts of two lyrically gorgeous works full of colour and melody' (The Lady)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Completed after the First Piano Concerto, but still comparatively early works, the Sextets are typified by lush textures, ardent emotion, and wonderfully memorable melodic lines. The first is the warmer, more heart-on-the-sleeve piece, balancing with complete naturalness a splendidly lyrical first movement, an urgent, dark set of intricate variations, a lively rustic dance of a Scherzo, and a placidly flowing finale. The second inhabits at first a more mysterious world of half-shadows, occasionally rent by glorious moments of sunlight. The finale, however, casts off doubt and ends with affirmation. Both works are very susceptible to differing modes of interpretation, and the Raphael Ensemble has established distinctive views of each, allowing the richness of the texture its head without obscuring the lines, and selecting characteristically distinct tone qualities to typify the two works.

The recording is clear and analytic without robbing the sound of its warmth and depth. An impressive recording début for this ensemble.



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Sextet for Strings no 1 in B flat major, Op. 18
  • Performers: Rhydian Shaxson (Cello); Andrea Hess (Cello); Elizabeth Wexler (Violin); Roger Tapping (Viola); James Clark (Violin); Sally Beamish (Viola)
  • Ensemble: Raphael Ensemble
  • Notes: 04/25/1988/04/26/1988
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1860

>Brahms, Johannes : Sextet for Strings no 2 in G major, Op. 36
  • Performers: Rhydian Shaxson (Cello); Andrea Hess (Cello); Elizabeth Wexler (Violin); Roger Tapping (Viola); James Clark (Violin); Sally Beamish (Viola)
  • Ensemble: Raphael Ensemble
  • Notes: 04/25/1988/04/26/1988
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1864-1865