Brahms: String Quartets, Op. 51/1 & 2, Op. 67; Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120/1 & 2

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COMPOSERS: Brahms
LABELS: Philips Duo
WORKS: String Quartets, Op. 51/1 & 2, Op. 67; Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120/1 & 2
PERFORMER: Quartetto Italiano; George Pieterson (cl), Hephzibah Menuhin (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 456 320-2 ADD
Bows dig deep and emotions range free in these sonorous accounts of the three Brahms quartets. The Italians never play down the Beethovenian resonances in Op. 51/1, even if their sternly concentrated manner in Op. 51/2 leaves little room for expressive manoeuvre. But their majestically assured performance of Op. 67 is the equal of any in the catalogues, while George Pieterson and Hephzibah Menuhin complete this double-disc package with sympathetic readings of the autumnal Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120. Michael Jameson

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