Salomon JADASSOHN (1831-1902)
Piano Quartet in C minor, Op.77 (1884) [30:51]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Piano Quartet in F minor, Op.2 (1823) [22:30]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op.47 (1842) [25:39]
Leipzig Piano Quartet
rec. March 2012
QUERSTAND VKJK 1222 [78:57]
It would be overstating the case to say that Salomon Jadassohn is undergoing
a recorded renaissance, especially as he never featured in the catalogues
in the first place. Nevertheless, his music is slowly being discovered,
and this is the second disc that Iíve reviewed that features it. This
music sets him firmly in his Leipzig context, offering a sequence of
three piano quartets, of which Jadassohnís is by some way the latest.
It was written in 1884, when the composer was in his early 50s, but
those who know something of his music will expect Mendelssohnian inheritance,
and so it largely proves. Much of the writing, confident, surely laid
out and highly approachable, has decided echoes of the composer who
had died when Jadassohn was sixteen. Itís not Mendelssohnís own Piano
Quartet that Jadassohnís reminds me ofóas this was a very early work
and not wholly characteristicóbut rather his Op.66 Piano Trio. There
is a striking similarity in terms of some of the first movement figuration
but of more significance is its general ethos, not least in a decidedly
Mendelssohnian scherzo. The slow movement gains in ardour and one feels
some Schumann influence here, whilst thereís a stormy, romantic finale,
though a stern critic might note that it lacks true melodic distinction.
As suggested, Mendelssohnís contribution to the genre was an early one,
written when he was fourteen, and only his Op.2. It has a youthful brio
and is, naturally, very adeptly laid out, and the balance between strings
and piano is well judged; so too the thematic material and its distribution.
The quartet is at its best in the capricious finale where rhythmic buoyancy
reigns. Schumannís Op.47 Piano Quartet has long since entered the core
repertory. The Leipzig Piano Quartet plays this persuasively, taking
taut tempi and ensuring clarity of texture. They take a flowing speed
for the slow movement, acknowledging the cantabile qualifier
and ensuring that this movement is not indulged, rather having a sense
of lyric fluidity.
Throughout, in fact, they play with good corporate tone and sensitive
ear for balance and textual matters. I canít find out where they were
recorded but the location was a very acceptable one.