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

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

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

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


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


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Georgy CATOIRE (1861-1926)
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 28 (1914) [24:21]
Ignaz FRIEDMAN (1882-1946)
Piano Quintet in C minor (1918) [36:58]
Andreas Brantelid (cello); Bengt Forsberg (piano); Ulf Forsberg (violin)); Ellen Nisbeth (viola); Nils-Erik Sparf (violin)
rec. 2017, Allhelgonakyrkan, Stockholm, Sweden
BIS BIS-2314 SACD [62:08]

Neither the music of Catoire or Friedman is, in contemporary terms, the stuff of mainstream choice. Friedman is known primarily as a piano lion. There are no fewer than four volumes of his playing on Naxos (review ~ review ~ review ~ review) and at least two Grand Piano discs showcase his own compositions (original works ~ transcriptions). As for Catoire, as a composer, he has done quite well and no doubt benefited from Oistrakh’s enthusiastic proselytising. The violin sonatas have been out there on Avie for quite some time as has the Piano Quintet on Aliud. His piano music has been taken up by Marc-André Hamelin on Hyperion and the fine Symphony can be heard in company with the one by Blumenfeld on Dutton. The works of these two figures share a murky hinterland with the music of Medtner, Bortkiewicz, Bowen (Dutton 1; Dutton 2; Hyperion) and Dobrowen. Another chance to re-assess.

These two decidedly late-romantic piano quintets are from either end of the Great War. The Catoire is economical in proportion - only 25 minutes across three movements - but densely textured. Lines crowd together and one wonders whether the gouache of sound had its effect on the similar signature of Medtner’s later Piano Quintet. It too has an exultant stamp and the foliage is just as closely woven. The finale of the Catoire with its glinting piano part exultantly breasts the tempest of activity in a way that also parallels the piano quintets by Bax (a breathtaking performance from the Take 5 Quintet on YouTube at the moment) and Giannini. If occasionally you struggle to see the forest for the trees then that’s all part of what Catoire must be taken to have intended. There’s little to choose between this version of the Piano Quintet and the one on Aliud. This one couples the work with the unknown Friedman while Aliud harnesses the Quintet with other chamber works.

Friedman’s furiously active Piano Quintet in C minor is also in three movements. Its violent energy contrasts with gentle melodic passages that have something of the salon about them as you might expect from this composer. The overall effect of the work is stirring, epic, high voltage and on occasion subtle. There’s colossal concentration there but contrasted with lighter episodes. This parallels Joseph Holbrooke who contrasted romantic supremacy in his chamber music with ideas boasting music-hall roots. Friedman’s choices are always discriminating and musical. He ends his quintet in gentle sotto voce supplication rather than in screaming gales of sound. There is a Friedman Piano Concerto. How long before we hear that?

Full factual delivery is provided by a liner-essay the author of which is Jean-Pascal Vachon. The challenging sound of a piano quintet in ‘relaxation’ and at full tilt is adeptly handled by Marion Schwebel and Robert Suff. It’s all done to the highest musical standard by Bis.

Ready to extend your repertoire of high tension late-romantic piano quintets? If so, this will please and broaden your cultural horizons.

Rob Barnett

Advertising on

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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus