Fauré: Piano Quartets; Nocturne No. 4

Hermitage String Trio / Kathryn Stott

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Fauré: Piano Quartets; Nocturne No. 4 Review

by James Leonard

Pianist Kathryn Stott and the Hermitage String Trio bring maximal force to the outer movements of Fauré's two piano quartets. After all, the word "molto" is used to describe the basic tempo in all four movements, and the music itself has a driven quality that requires focused intensity. The English pianist and the Russian string players also have admirable unanimity of ensemble. Stott and the Hermitage musicians are in tight here, hitting their marks and keeping their attacks unified. The slow movements, though, seem strained in tone, as if Stott wanted one tempo and the Russians another, and the result never quite gels into a cogent and compelling performance. Filled out with Stott's sensitive reading of the same composer's Nocturne No. 4, and recorded in lush if perhaps too- close digital sound, this disc, fine as it is in parts, will not challenge the great recorded performances of the past.

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