Fans of the Nash Ensemble's disc of Brahms' First and Third piano quartets will certainly like the group's recording of the German Romantic's Second Piano Quartet and Clarinet Trio, with clarinetist Richard Hosford. The same characteristics hold here as in the earlier release: a tight but comfortable ensemble, a rich yet focused sound, and a powerful but flexible sense of rhythm, lyrical phrasing, and dramatic developments. In the more relaxed Second Piano Quartet, the Nash players turn in a sun-dappled pastoral performance with plenty of breathing room but no loss of forward motion. In the more compact Clarinet Trio, they deliver a forceful, almost edgy performance that suits the work's more driven character. In both cases the playing is as fine as the best ever recorded and anyone interested in the chamber works of Brahms is likely to enjoy this disc. Onyx's sound is direct and immediate.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114|
|Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26|