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Octet/Quintet

Artist: George Enescu
George Enescu - Octet/Quintet CD
Label: Nonesuch
Regular Price: $15.95
On Sale For: $6.38 
Year: 2002
Format: CD

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If, indeed, this is the first recording of George Enescu's Piano Quintet Op. 29, where has this passionate, big-boned masterpiece been hiding since it was written in 1940? It has everything: long, surging melodies; ravishing harmonies best described as "red meat Fauré"; delicate counterpoint that suddenly explodes into orchestral ecstasy; sustained string lines decorated by magical keyboard flourishes. Stylistically, it sounds as if it could have been written before the same composer's Op. 7 Octet from 1900, whose terse idiom and restless polyphony wouldn't be out of place in Shostakovich. Nonesuch provides engineering that's roomy yet well-defined, and perfectly suited to these works. And how are the performances? Passionate and big-boned, for starters, and lovingly prepared. In the Octet, Kremer sometimes lunges at high notes with tremulous intonation, but not in the Quintet. If you're a chamber music fan bent on new discoveries, this disc is for you. Highly recommended. --Jed Distler
ARTISTS
Gidon Kremer (violin); Kremerata Baltica: Dzeraldas Bidva (violin); Ula Ulijona (viola); Marta Sudraba (cello); Andrius Zlabys (piano)
TRACKS
  • Octet, op. 7
  • Quintet, op. 29
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