There are many outstanding recordings of Fauré's two piano quintets available, and this 2009 Naxos disc by the Fine Arts Quartet with pianist Cristina Ortiz can take its place among the finest. The American chamber group plays with complete unanimity; though each musician is clearly an individual, in their more than 50 years together, the members of the Fine Arts Quartet have refined their ensemble to the point where their individuality has become truly collective. Joined here by Brazilian virtuoso Ortiz, they produce a comely sound and offer lively performances of the two quintets. In fast movements, particularly the second quintet's Allegro vivo, they hold together tightly. In slow movements, especially the first quintet's Adagio, they sing together beautifully, bringing out the deep longing and affecting expressivity at the music's heart. Captured in lean, clean, yet atmospheric sound, this recording is another feather in the cap of the performers and adds another outstanding recording of these chamber music masterpieces to the catalog.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Piano Quintet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 89|
|Piano Quintet No. 2 in C minor, Op. 115|