Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor; Clarinet Quintet in B minor; String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2, Op. 51

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COMPOSERS: Brahms
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Piano Quintet in F minor; Clarinet Quintet in B minor; String Quartet No. 1; String Quartet No. 2, Op. 51
PERFORMER: Georges Solchany (piano), David Glazer (clarinet) Hungarian Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CZS 5 69558 2 ADD 1970
I imagine any number of old Brahms recordings will be reissued in this, his bicentennial year; and these vintage Hungarian Quartet performances, recorded in 1968 just a couple of years before the group finally disbanded, will do reasonably well as an introduction to four of his finest large-scale chamber works.

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The stormy F minor Piano Quintet and the altogether more mellow Clarinet Quintet (with the excellent David Glazer on clarinet) come off best.

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In both the String Quartets there is, to my ears, a lack of warmth in the Hungarians’ approach, technically excellent though the results are. Stephen Maddock