Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Joachim Raff, Ensemble Villa Musica|
Joachim Raff: Chamber Music (Sextet Op. 178 / Piano Quintet Op. 107) - Ensemble Villa Musica
Beautiful chamber music, the epitome of the Romatic era
David Arenson | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joachim Raff's chamber works are generally of a high quality and this disc represents him at his best. Both works are delightful to listen to and the recorded sound and performance are excellent. Raff's gift for melody and sense of fun percolate through these works, which also offer moments of quiet reflection. The Piano Quintet is a standout and just keeps getting better and better with each movement.
These works hold their own with others of the period, and reaffirm my contention that Raff (1822-1882) is the greatest composer that most people have never heard of. With more recordings like these, his day may yet arrive."
The Challenging Piano Quintet Form
John D. Pilkey | Santa Clarita, CA USA | 01/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Piano Quintet in A minor is "grand" in more ways than one. It lasts more than 37 minutes. Each movement possesses its own fascination. The first offers heaving, swelling romantic music and engages all the instruments in daunting fashion. The second is a haunting, relentless scherzo that starts off with a lighter sound to build suspense. The slow third, major key movement starts off in rather saccharine style but turns persuasive in its own way. The fourth offers an emphatic, memorable folk melody and works it for all it's worth. The piece prompts me to take stock of other notable A minor romantic works I know including Schubert's String Quartet No. 13, Beethoven's "Carol of the Bells" late string quartet, the piano concertos of Schumann and Grieg and Brahms' great Double Concerto, String Quartet No. 2 and late, sophisticated clarinet trio. Raff's work stands up well in this company. The piece dates 1862, two years before Brahms' rather hair-raising F minor Piano Quintet. The recording notes react with surprise to Hans von Bulow's 1869 estimate that Raff's quintet is the best piece of chamber music since Beethoven; but this judgment is not far off. These 37 minutes are packed with high quality music. I am partial to the piano quintet form anyway and thankful to any composer who undertakes it. The String Sextet also included in the CD is notable for the high tempos of all but one of its movements."