Nash Ensemble

Brahms: Chamber Works

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The critically acclaimed Nash Ensemble released recordings of Johannes Brahms' chamber music between 2007 and 2010, and those discs have been collected in this 2012 box set from Onyx Classics. Included are the Clarinet Trio in A minor, the three piano quartets, the two string quintets, and the two string sextets, which is by no means the whole of Brahms' output in the chamber genre, but only the pieces for larger ensembles, which the Nash Ensemble readily accommodates. This group strikes a balance between the old-fashioned, sentimental interpretations of these pieces and more modern approaches that emphasize clarity and control. The Nash players always have an emotional involvement with the music, so the passion they convey is real, not simulated through excessive use of rubato or overly generous vibrato. They also show a commitment to making the music clear and communicative, so Brahms' parts are always well-separated and his textures, while rich, are quite transparent in the Nash's performances. Onyx Classics' sound is slightly variable from disc to disc, but overall it is direct and full of presence.

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