Berwald: Piano Quintets (complete)

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COMPOSERS: Berwald
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Piano Quintets (complete)
PERFORMER: Bengt-Åke Lundin (piano); Uppsala Chamber Soloists
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553970 Reissue (1996)
The Berwald piano quintets are both late works from the 1850s. The first ideas for the Second actually came to him in 1850, and the additional Larghetto and Scherzo movements recorded here were probably intended for this version and subsequently discarded. When the C minor Quintet first appeared in 1853, Berwald referred to it as the Second, and it was only when he reworked the A major in 1857 that he adopted the present numbering. Alas, little of their charm is on offer here. The string playing is untouched by distinction and the balance places the piano in far too dominant a position. This disc gives little pleasure. Robert Layton

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