Trust CPO to educate us again and to do so with such
Jenner was born on the island of Sylt of a physician
father who could trace his family to the Scot, Edward Jenner who invented
the smallpox vaccine and a mother whose family were Sylt merchants and
Jenner's Piano Quartet is comparable with Grieg
and Schumann, even early Parry. The First Piano Quartet by Fauré
is also within hailing distance of this music. The suave counter-subject
is very civilised and confident in its Mendelssohnian glitter. There
is a brusque and sturdy cosmopolitan scherzo with a lovely rocking motion
(1.45). This is most warming music, lovely, rounded and undulatingly
melodic. Jenner has an unfailing knack of producing affecting melody
- a fruity and flightily imaginative aptitude.
The Third Quartet was premiered by the Rebner
Quartet (which included Hindemith, viola and Maurits Frank, cello) at
Marburg in the year of Jenner's death. Mozart and Brahms are the influences
across the four movements. However in the Scherzo a tangy gypsy skirl
can be heard. Staunch Mendelssohnian content can be found in the finale.
The Second Quartet is a much more concise four
movement work and would go down well in any recital. Mozartian grace
exudes from every bar and the dialogue of the instruments seems to have
taken its line from the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante K364. The
longest movement is 4.24, the shortest 3.19.
The First Quartet is rather more loquacious
and is less impressive despite being in the same Mozartian/Mendelssohnian
language. The Trio for piano and two high-tide romantic instruments:
clarinet and horn, sounds charming though it is perhaps the least at
ease, least fully resolved and least eloquent and articulate interpretation
of the five pieces. This has a definite Brahmsian 'climate' and is a
pleasing and mellifluous work. It dates from the same year as the rather
hum-drum First Quartet.
These works will be adored by anyone who takes well
to Brahms, Mendelssohn, the Smetana Quartet No. 1, the late Mozart string
quartets and early Karl Weigl.
Good notes from Manfred Hörr and sensationally
long well-judged silences between the works.
The Mozart Piano Quartet and Friends play with joyous
inspiration and no trace of dutiful dullness. Sparks and sighs radiate