Margarita Hohenrieder / Gewandhaus Quartet / Christian Ockert

Schumann & Mendelssohn Bartholdy

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This disc has many things going for it. It has interesting repertoire: Schumann's Piano Quartet in E flat major and the relatively rarely recorded Piano Sextet in D major by Mendelssohn and, as a bonus, the world-premiere recording of Mendelssohn's arrangement for piano and string quintet of the Adagio from his Second Piano Concerto. German pianist Margarita Höhenrieder demonstrated her dazzling technique and poetic temperament in her 2000 recording of Robert and Clara Schumann's piano concertos, and her playing here is similarly impressive: passionate and impetuous as befits the music, but always wholly under control. Höhenrieder is admirably matched by the Gewandhaus Quartet, which brings its big sound and vigorous ensemble to support as well as stimulate Höhenrieder. Together, the repertoire and the performers are more than the sum of their parts, and this disc is as appealing an example of early Romantic German chamber music as can be imagined. Solo Musica's digital sound, while perhaps too close for every listener's comfort, will no doubt excite those who like to feel they are sitting on the bench next to the pianist.

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