Peter Langgartner / Minguet Quartett

Heinrich von Herzogenberg: String Quintet Op. 77; String Quartet Op. 18

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For its second disc dedicated to the chamber music of Heinrich von Herzogenberg, the Minguet Quartett has chosen the German Romantic's String Quintet in C minor, Op. 77, and his String Quartet in D minor, Op. 18. As with a previous disc, featuring his Piano Quintet, Op. 17, and String Quartet, Op. 63, these are world-premiere recordings. As before, the German group's technique is self-assured and polished, its ensemble cogent, and its interpretations committed, and, as before, the music lets the group down. Herzogenberg, a skillful and sincere composer, was a good friend of Brahms, though not such a good friend that he refrained from marrying Elisabeth von Stockhausen, a woman Brahms was said to have loved, although, being Brahms, he never said a word about it. While Herzogenberg got the girl, Brahms clearly got the genius: Herzogenberg's music, though quite well-composed, sounds forceful yet fussy, tuneful but forgettable, heartfelt but curiously without effect. CPO's sound is cool, clear, and deep.

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