MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
57,473reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

 

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Piano Quintet in E flat, Op. 44 [29:24]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 [41:08]
Joyce Yang (piano)
Alexander String Quartet
rec. 2-5 April 2013, St Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Belvedere, California, USA
FOGHORN CLASSICS CD2014 [70:32]

On first listen, I thought, “I really, really like this CD”. Then I listened to the disc three times the first week. Each time, the music rang out in my head for hours or days afterward. Sometimes I stalked the performers online, wondering, “So have they recorded the Dvořák piano quintets too? What about the Fauré?” They haven’t. Then I started tallying up all the Alexander Quartet albums I now desperately want to purchase, and pitying my poor wallet.
 
All that is a long way of saying that this is an excellent CD. There’s no doubt about it. The Schumann is vibrant, lively, exuberantly cheerful, with a healthy fullness and muscle. Pianist Joyce Yang leads the charge in the exciting scherzo, especially. Brahms’ quintet is played to show the players’ versatility: aggressive and tender and coolly focused in turn, with impeccable judgment. The scherzo, again, simply catches fire.
 
As for the Alexander String Quartet: up till now I had led a pitifully sheltered, ASQ-free life. My MusicWeb International colleagues have been praising them for years: those links contain phrases like “unfailingly fresh and musically compelling,” “passes my ‘desert island’ test,” and “inspired performances”. My colleague Byzantion says (in the third link) that “The ASQ - who last year celebrated their 30th anniversary - are hard to fault in any regard: their professionalism is immaculate, their ensemble experience huge and telling, their instrument mastery practically faultless.”
 
To those remarks I have nothing to add. This review is brief because its recommendation is simple. The recording, produced by Judith Sherman, is first-rate; the playing is uniformly first-rate; the artist group portrait is amusing; the need for follow-up albums is high. I do have competing releases for each of these often-recorded works, and you probably do too. To name one for each work: the Jerusalem Quartet with Alexander Melnikov for Schumann, and the Juilliard with Leon Fleisher in Brahms. You’d be forgiven for thinking that you don’t need one more. Just remember: there is always more room on the shelf for excellence.
 
Brian Reinhart