£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

Purchase from Avie

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor Op.25 [40:27]
Piano Quartet No.3 in C minor Op.60 [35:36]
The Milander Quartet (Milana Chernayska (piano); Lisa Schatzman (violin); Alexander Moshenko (viola); Beni Santora (cello))
rec. 27-29 March 2007, Hochschule für Musik, Munich, Germany. Stereo. DDD
AVIE AV2203 [76:14]

Experience Classicsonline



 
The Milander Quartet is a fairly new ensemble, and this is their début recording. Mind, you wouldn't know that to listen to it - the four players are clearly finely attuned to each other's artistic sensibilities, and the unity of intent here is astounding. The big name in the ensemble is pianist Milana Chernyavska. She is the driving force, it seems, but she's not one to hog the limelight, and the four players sound like equal partners, both in terms of their artistic input and their relative weight in the recorded sound. That kind of democracy is what really makes chamber music come alive, but it is all too rare on record, especially with piano trios, quartets and quintets, where the pianist's ego almost always sees them pushed to the front of the sound-stage.
 
Brahms' Piano Quartets are filled with music of extremes, but players don't do it any favours by playing it at face value. Fortunately, then, the Milanders often take Brahms' tempo and dynamic indications with a pinch of salt. The opening movement of the First Quartet, for example, is marked Allegro, but the notes themselves don't really bear that out. So the performance here errs toward slower tempos, but retains enough flexibility to build up some real intensity in the climaxes. And when Brahms writes 'pp' or 'ff', as he does far more often than he ought, the players have the sensibility to express these extremes through timbre and texture rather than relying on sheer volume.
 
There are times when only excess will do. I'm thinking in particular of the Gypsy dance that closes the First Quartet and the tempestuous development of the Third Quartet first movement. However the fact that the players save those extremes for when they are really needed gives them all the more effect.
 
Despite the rigorous control exercised throughout, this doesn't come across as an overly controlled performance. In fact, the ensemble in the strings is occasionally slightly loose, as if the players are emphasising passion over precision. It's not a big problem, the ensemble, and they are the same problems as you'll find on any recording; Brahms is asking for it really, writing long, loud passages with the violin and viola in octaves for example.
 
When the players perform as soloists, all thoughts of imprecision evaporate. The cellist, Beni Santora, makes a fabulous job of the solos in the first movement of the First Quartet, and the quality of viola playing from Alexander Moshnenko is the equal of the violin playing from Lisa Schatzman. That is another unusual quality from a piano quartet, and it is a real asset here because Brahms treats the two as equals.
 
The sound quality is excellent, and (as mentioned above) the balance between the players is exceptional. The sound of the piano is just wonderful. It’s a Steinway D and the sound of its bass strings is rich, focused and very satisfying.
 
All round, this is an impressive reading of two of Brahms' greatest chamber works. According to Avie, it is the first of a pair covering the Brahms Piano Quartets. If the Second Quartet is played and recorded to this standard, it will definitely be worth hearing. That leaves the question of what the coupling will be on volume 2, and my money is on the Piano Quintet. Those two works are already over-exposed on CD, in a way that the First and Third Quartets are not, so the Milanders were probably wise to start here. A great recording and a very promising start to what should be a glittering recording career for the ensemble.
 
Gavin Dixon
 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.