Profound performance of the great c minor Quartet
Herzog fan | Washington, DC | 07/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard this performance of the Brahms c minor Piano Quartet on an old 33 rpm record from my university's music library almost 15 years ago, and I had been seeking it out on CD ever since. It was not until a month ago that I'd noticed that the performance was finally available on CD, and I wondered if it would fall short of expectations. Thankfully, the recording is just as extraordinary as I had remembered it.
The group takes slightly slower tempi than are typically taken in the first two movements. The broad pacing, in combination with the outstanding phrasing from the string players, gives the music a darker, weightier tone and profound expression that I've not heard replicated elsewhere. Szigeti's poetic phrasing here, as in his other recordings, is unsurpassed. And Paul Tortelier's cello solo at the beginning of the third movement is exquisitely played.
Amazingly, this quartet performance at Prades was the very same evening as the equally stunning performance of the Brahms C major Trio, op. 87, by Josef Szigeti, Pablo Casals, and Myra Hess, available on Sony Classical. Surely this must have been one of the greatest live concerts of chamber music ever presented!"