Olga Gollej / Leipziger Streichquartett / Julian Steckel

August Klughardt: String Quintet; Piano Quintet

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Largely forgotten now, composer August Klughardt was active during the last half of the 19th century, a time of much diversion and expansion of musical ideas. Rather than following any one of these emerging schools of composition, Klughardt incorporated concepts and trends from a variety of sources into an eclectic but unfocused compositional style. This MDG Gold album begins with his Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 43. Spun, singing melodies of Schumann can be heard, along with sometimes rich harmonization of Brahms and folk-like idioms of Dvorák. The G minor String Quintet is also a hodgepodge of styles, throwing a heavy dose of counterpoint as well. While today we can appreciate certain aspects of these works, it's also easy to see how Klughardt's lack of individuality may have left him out of the musical canon. Performing here is the Leipziger Streichquartett, joined by pianist Olga Gollej and cellist Julian Steckel. For their part, the Leipziger musicians do an admirable job of highlighting the most pleasant points of Klughardt's music. Their playing is rich and sweepingly Romantic, technically solid, and generally well in tune. Their sound quality seems superior when joined by Steckel for the quintet, and the contrapuntal texture accents the individual tones of each player while still combining for a well-blended tutti sound.

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