Ilya Gringolts / Dmitry Kouzov / Peter Laul / Gringolts String Quartet

Schumann: Chamber Works

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For this 2012 box set of the chamber music of Robert Schumann, Onyx Classics has reissued recordings Ilya Gringolts made with his string quartet and piano trio, which were previously released between 2010 and 2011. The three violin sonatas, the three piano trios, and the three string quartets are presented here, along with the Piano Quintet in E flat major, so the collection consists of Schumann's major chamber works, not including the piano quartets and a handful of minor pieces. Praised for their sensitivity and well-balanced dialogues, the musicians are passionately engaged yet relaxed with each other, and the music is always presented with spontaneity and clarity. One drawback to the recordings is the variable sound quality, which sometimes has full presence and depth, as in the piano quintet, but at other times seems recessed, as in the violin sonatas. Still, Gringolts and his colleagues turn in admirable performances of these somewhat under-played but essential repertoire, and this five-disc set offers considerable value.

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