New York Quartet

Schumann: Quartet Op. 47; Fauré: Quartet Op. 15

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The little-known and short-lived New York [piano] Quartet was made up of some notable musicians whose names have not endured the test of time as long as they should have. Of particular note is pianist Mieczyslaw Horszowski, an artist who lived to be nearly 101 years of age and whose playing career spanned nine decades, making him one of the most tenacious performers to ever live. Violinist Alexander Schneider, with whom Horszowski performed on numerous occasions, was a tireless promoter of chamber music, to which he almost exclusively devoted his career. Thanks to efforts of the Istituto Discografico Italiano (IDIS), the collaborative efforts of these artists are not entirely lost. This album features 1953 studio recordings of the Schumann Op. 47 Piano Quartet and the Fauré Op. 15 Piano Quartet. Both performances give a decidedly casual, easygoing feeling that makes for some spontaneous, risk-taking playing that highlights the dialogue between instruments rather than individual notes. The strings play together with admirable intonation and a well-blended, pleasing sound; Horszowski's playing is elegant and sophisticated without being pretentious or overbearing. The IDIS' restored sound all but eliminates any hiss and gives listeners a fairly rich, nicely balanced sound.

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