Minguet Quartett / Oliver Triendl

Heinrich von Herzogenberg: Piano Quintet, Op. 17; String Quartet, Op. 63

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Nineteenth century Austrian composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg started his career as a lesser Wagner and ended it a lesser Brahms. This CPO disc contains two works from the latter part of his career, his four-movement Piano Quintet in C major and his three-movement String Quartet in F minor, performed by the Minguet Quartett with pianist Oliver Triendl. Both works are superbly composed and deeply felt. Herzogenberg clearly knew exactly how to construct a sonata-form movement, precisely how to write counterpoint, and unerringly how to keep his music moving. The quintet's central Adagio manifestly touches on topics close to the composer's heart and the quartet's opening Allegro moderato has palpable drive. Neither work, though, has appreciable depth or originality. Even with the Minguet's and Triendl's wholly professional performances, Herzogenberg's music resolutely fails to make any particular impression or leave any discernible memories. Some listeners who enjoy the idiom of Brahms' and Dvorák's chamber music may find these works worth hearing, but this disc is unlikely to attract a broad audience. CPO's digital sound is, as usual, clear, clean, cool, and immediate.

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