One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU


Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 (1873) [33:46]
Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 (1866) [42:31]
Natacha Kudritskaya (piano)
Brodsky Quartet
rec. Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk 8-10 September 2015
CHANDOS CHAN10892 [76:30]

This is a sequel to the same quartet's Clarinet Quintet and String Quartet Op. 51 No. 2 on CHAN 10817. Chandos have stood by the Brodsky over the years as they have also done with the Doric. Their Brodsky catalogue shines with their Panufnik, Grundman, Zemlinsky and Debussy alongside a confection collection in the shape of Petits-Fours.

There's some vertiginously exciting playing in the quartet (I: 7.00) and this presents a nice contrast with the gentle fragility of the Romanze (II: 2.20). This vulnerability can be uncannily akin to that of Sibelius in Voces Intimae. The mood, if not the similarity, carries over into the easily wounded delicacy of the third movement. The finale is a short allegro - shorter than any of the previous three movements. For all its panache it feels like an anti-climax.

The Quintet is also in four movements and was written during the years between the Rinaldo cantata and the orchestral-vocal Alto Rhapsody, Triumphlied and Schicksalslied. Its manner is at times reflective of the sudden squalls of the First Piano Concerto. At others it favours a tenderness into which the close of the first movement magically sinks. By the way, that moment is masterfully done by the Brodsky. The surging calorific value of the Andante is notable and Kudritskaya is there with the Brodsky on the crest of that wave. The gracefully bowed heads and doffed hats of the finale are very nicely carried off here.

The liner-note is by Nicholas Marston. In addition to providing a not overly technical roadmap through the music he introduces a measure of biographical backdrop, including details of the premieres.

The enveloping sound-scene favours the warm collective four-fold voice rather than disentangling instrumental strands. Even so it's not succulent. The engineers present the listener with the hum of summer rather than a wintry shiver of precise definition.

As a single disc coupling there is scant competition and what there is I confess I have not heard. In its own right this disc will satisfy those wanting these two works. The field opens out if you opt for two-disc sets with a wider work catchment in which case I would, from memory, go for a 1990s Warner recording from the Borodin Quartet and Eliso Virsaladze.

Rob Barnett



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

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