Brahms: The Piano Quartets Primrose Piano Quartet

Album info

Album-Release:
2019

HRA-Release:
03.04.2019

Label: Meridian Records

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Concertos

Album including Album cover

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  • Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897): Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60:
  • 1Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60: Allegro non troppo10:25
  • 2Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60: Scherzo - Allegro04:16
  • 3Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60: Andante08:49
  • 4Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60: Finale - Allegro comodo10:54
  • Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25:
  • 5Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25: Allegro13:44
  • 6Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25: Intermezzo - Allegro ma non troppo08:17
  • 7Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25: Andante con moto09:14
  • 8Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25: Rondo alla Zingarese - Presto08:48
  • Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26:
  • 9Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26: Allegro non troppo15:55
  • 10Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26: Poco Adagio10:26
  • 11Piano Quartet A Major, Op. 26: Scherzo - Poco Allegro11:32
  • 12Piano Quartet A Major, Op. 26: Finale - Allegro11:10
  • Total Runtime02:03:30

Info for Brahms: The Piano Quartets



The culmination of many performances, and years of research into historically informed performance practice and period instruments, the Primrose Piano Quartet are delighted with this 2 CD set of Brahms’ magnificent works for the ensemble.

Recorded on location in Vienna – using a different nineteenth century piano for each quartet, and gut strings similar to those in use at the time – the ensemble felt inspired to let their hair down and give performances which are creative, imaginative and new.

Composed during the middle years of the 19th century, the piano quartets of Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) display the composer’s symphonic mastery in their scope of Romantic expression and range of development, and owe a debt of inspiration to personal and performing partnerships with the Schumann family and Hungarian violinists, Eduard Reményi and Joseph Joachim.

“Prior to the recording, we undertook a lot of research into the latest historically informed performance practice which is reflected in our interpretations”, explained violinist, Susanne Stanzeleit. “Our own teachers had close and direct links back to Brahms and the playing tradition of the time so we felt very at home with the process. We used three stunning pianos dating from the mid-19th century from the Gert Hecher collection in Vienna and moved them to the famous Ehrbar Hall, where Brahms himself often performed, for the recording. To complement the sound of the pianos the three strings players changed their set ups to closely resemble the string sound of the period, using a combination of uncovered and covered gut strings.”

Pianist John Thwaites recalls: “I chose a Blüthner, an Ehrbar and a Streicher – the latter identical to the instrument given to Brahms in 1868. We know Brahms visited the Ehrbar Hall in the 1870’s and 80’s to try his symphonies and piano concertos on two pianos.”

The Primrose Piano Quartet has previously recorded Romantic repertoire to great acclaim with their award-winning recordings for the Meridian label including works by Schubert, Fauré and Richard Strauss. Alongside their performances of the major repertoire, they have revived a number of remarkable and unjustly neglected 20th century English piano quartets, as well as giving a platform to contemporary composers, including Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, Sally Beamish, John Casken and Anthony Payne, whose works have been written for and premièred by them.

The Primrose Piano Quartet



The Primrose Piano Quartet
was formed in 2004 by pianist John Thwaites and three of the UK's most renowned chamber musicians (Lindsay, Sorrel, Edinburgh, Maggini Quartets). It is named after the great Scottish violist, William Primrose, who himself played in the Festival Piano Quartet. Alongside their performances of the major repertoire, the Primrose Quartet have researched widely the forgotten legacy of 20th century English composers, and have revived a number of remarkable and unjustly neglected piano quartets. Their award-winning recordings feature works by Dunhill, Hurlstone, Quilter, Bax, Scott, Alwyn, Howells and Frank Bridge. Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies wrote his Piano Quartet for the Primrose in 2008; this twenty-minute piece premièred at the Cheltenham Festival has proved very appealing, and was recorded in 2009 for the Meridian label.


In 2009 an exciting commission, born out of their strong Scottish connections and timed to celebrate Robert Burns’s 250th anniversary, was the “Burns Air Variations". The Primrose invited a number of their composer friends to write a short variation each on Burns' "By Yon Castle Wa", and the resulting 30-minute work received premières in Tunbridge Wells, at the Sound Festival, and at Kings Place. Sally Beamish, John Casken, Jacques Cohen, Peter Fribbins, Francis Pott, Zoë Martlew, Piers Hellawell and Stephen Goss are among those who contributed.

Two new CDs were released during 2010 on the Meridian label: Richard Strauss Piano Quartet, Violin Sonata and Cello Sonata; Maxwell Davies' Piano Quartet, the Burns Air Variations and a previously unrecorded Piano Quintet by Dmitri Smirnov. In 2011 the Quartet recorded a CD of Fauré and Brahms piano quartets, performed on a piano chosen by Brahms.



For 2014 the Primrose have been selected for the Making Music Concert Promoters' Network for a third time, and have a busy performing season both in the UK and abroad, including an extensive tour of Denmark. They are delighted to have commissioned leading British composer, Anthony Payne, to write a piano quartet to be premièred in February 2015. This season will also see the recording of two further CDs of Schubert and Brahms chamber works. Their own festival in the Hampshire Village of West Meon is now in its fourth year.

This album contains no booklet.

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