Schubert: Piano Quintet in A, D667 (Trout); Arpeggione Sonata, D821

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LABELS: RCA Classical Navigator
WORKS: Piano Quintet in A, D667 (Trout); Arpeggione Sonata, D821
PERFORMER: Emanuel Ax (piano), John Dalley (violin), Michael Tree (viola), David Soyer (cello), Julius Levine (double bass); Lynn Harrell (cello), James Levine (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 74321 24202 2 ADD/DDD (1976/84)
You won’t hook a finer ‘Trout’ at bargain price than this. Emanuel Ax is a diligent and responsive Schubertian, never reluctant to confront the darker aspects of a score not wholly devoid of sinister incident; consider the minore episode of the eponymous ‘Die Forelle’ variations, and first movement development. With excellent contributions from the Guarneri players and bassist Julius Levine, this performance can be strongly recommended at entry level price. Lynn Harrell’s account of the ‘Arpeggione’ Sonata is less satisfactory; this music deserves rather more than hectoring bravura and pedantic accentuation, and neither is James Levine wholly unreproachable in this regard. Michael Jameson