Smyth: String Quartet in E minor; String Quintet in E

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WORKS: String Quartet in E minor; String Quintet in E
PERFORMER: Mannheim String Quartet; Joachim Griesheimer (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: 999 352-2
Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) studied in Leipzig and soon made her reputation as a composer, especially in Germany. The five-movement Quintet (1884) shows that Brahms exerted a significant influence upon her. The later Quartet, composed through the ten years up to 1912, is rather more sophisticated in its manner of development, including a slow movement which is conceived on an extended scale. The opening of the Quartet is beautifully balanced, and so is the playing, though too few tensions are generated thereafter. These performances, like the music itself, are fluent without showing great personality. Terry Barfoot

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