Doric String Quartet

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: String Sextet; Piano Quintet

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Before he won acclaim in Hollywood for such film scores as Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Sea Hawk, Erich Wolfgang Korngold had been a successful wunkerkind of classical music in Europe, composing ambitious music that impressed the likes of Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. The Sextet in D major, Op. 10 (1914-1916), and the Piano Quintet in E major, Op. 15 (1921-1922) were composed when Korngold was a young man, and their ardent and optimistic music are typical of the post-Romantic style he cultivated for most of his career. This album by the Doric String Quartet (augmented in the Sextet by violist Jennifer Stumm and cellist Bartholomew LaFollette, and in the quintet by pianist Kathryn Stott) is a bright and vibrant presentation, and the passionate outpourings of the music are matched by the intensity of the playing. One might wish for better intonation and a warmer tone quality for the strings in the quintet, though they are much improved in the Sextet, and both performances have the advantages of high energy and volatile expressiveness, so the few shortcomings may be excused. Chandos provides clean yet resonant sound, and the recordings capture the music with credible presence.

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