Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor; Piano Quartet in C minor; Piano Quartet in A; Piano Trio in A

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COMPOSERS: Brahms
LABELS: Philips Duo
WORKS: Piano Quartet in G minor; Piano Quartet in C minor; Piano Quartet in A; Piano Trio in A
PERFORMER: Walter Trampler (viola); Beaux Arts Trio
CATALOGUE NO: 454 017-2 DDD (1967/74)
The First Quartet is the pick of these recordings, with passion, abandon and restraint held in happy equilibrium. For the rest, the playing never lacks a professional sheen, but it sometimes seems that the almost instinctive rapport between the players has been won at the expense of individual character: Pressler’s periodic outbursts of violence only point up the opportunities missed for more subtle soloistic contributions. A piano trio of disputed authorship but persuausive Brahmsian flavour is companion to the quartets. Recorded during the days of Daniel Guilet, it displays some rocky intonation and a free-flowing ease from which the quartets could have benefited. Christopher Wood

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