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December 11   -   My Classical Notes

The Quintets by Johannes Brahms

This recording features the Complete String Quintets by Brahms: Brahms: String Quintet No. 1 in F major, Op. 88 String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111 Performed by Roland Glassl (viola), with the Mandelring Quartet. Brahms’ string quintets resemble self portraits. In them he presents the contrasts that characterize his musical thinking: drawing from musical history and his own creative output, he achieved a vision of something that is both new and eternally valid. He made use of the larger instrumentation to suggest expansiveness, at the same time casting the work in a terse and concise expressive form. Brahms’ quintets, masterworks of his late style, demand a precise and sensitive approach to their Performances, combining cheerfulness and melancholy, expansive ideas and compressed form, reminiscences of the past (including his own early works) and the desire to express a new and valid musical message – all this needs to be both perfectly balanced and clearly articulated. The Mandelring Quartet with Roland Glassl has pulled off such an interpretation, masterfully balancing the works’ inner tensions. Here is the music: Brahms’ string quintet Op. 88:

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