Vierne • Pierné

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COMPOSERS: Pierne,Vierne
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Vierne • Pierné
WORKS: String Quartet in D minor; Piano Quintet in E minor
PERFORMER: Goldner String Quartet; Piers Lane (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 68036

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Success can be a dangerous thing. As Roger Nichols points out in his typically eloquent notes for this welcome disc, much music by both Pierné and Vierne was overshadowed by their respective achievements as conductor and organist. However, anyone who has experienced the raw emotions of his Piano Quintet knows there is much more to him than the invaluable contribution of his Sunday job at Notre Dame. His youthful String Quartet is more easy-going, but, as this stylish account by the Goldner Quartet makes clear, it has a striking concision of expression, and the flitting of the Intermezzo is magical.

Piers Lane joins the fun for Pierné’s Piano Quintet. Dating from the latter years of World War One, it encapsulates much of the spirit of the Belle Epoque, but also looks forward to the rhythmic drive of the 1920s. Echoes of Franck are apparent, especially in the final movement’s remembrances of earlier themes and methods of cranking up the tension. Resonances of contemporaries such as Debussy, Ravel, Dukas and Stravinsky can also be heard, notably in the central ‘Zortzico’, and with the advocacy of this finely nuanced performance, Pierné’s rhythmic and timbral invention shine through.

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Christopher Dingle