LABELS: Dabringhaus und Grimm Gold
WORKS: Piano Quintet, Op. 95
PERFORMER: Jost Michaels (piano); Verdi Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: MDG 308 0506-2
Wilhelm Berger (1861-1911) was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Germany. Rather than following Schoenberg or Mahler, Berger’s music owes much to Schumann, Brahms and even Mendelssohn.
This Piano Quintet is a massive piece, with a huge first movement and an impressive Passacaglia finale that recalls Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, while there’s much tenderness in the slow movement, and the Scherzo fairly fizzes. It’s an accomplished work that should encourage more investigation. Meaty performance but a recording rather in the middle ground. Stephen Pettitt