GORGEOUS DUTCH QUINTETS!!
Douglas Brown | Livonia [MI] & Toledo [OH] USA | 10/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listening to a CBC (Canadian) classical music program while driving one evening many years ago, I heard a work so mesmerizing I had to have a recording of it. I memorized the composer's name (Dirk Schafer) but despaired of finding it. Lo and behold, my local Harmony House Classical store (late and lamented) had a copy. The work has always provided pleasure over the years, despite my having since then amassed a collection of 7,000 CDs. The work is lushly romantic without sounding overly derivative. The Schlegel quintet is also attractive, but it is the Schafer that continues to draw me back. I would encourage another label (Naxos, Regis?) to reissue this recording, but since neither composer is particularly well known, especially in the USA, it would probably be more a labor of love than one of commercial viability. The Schafer remains one of the most compelling works in romantic music literature. Meanwhile, for a more modern-sounding, no less compelling, piano quintet, try the one by the American Leo Ornstein Leo Ornstein: Piano Quintet: String Quartet No. 3. In that case, a Harmony House clerk played me the work, making me an instant convert. From there, explore Piano Quintets by Vierne Hahn/Vierne: Piano Quintets, Dvorak (of course)Antonin Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81; Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 87, and others.