May Classical Music

This week we introduce some romantic works for strings, and a rather sumptuous offering of a Bach oratorio.

ClassicalrecentMay16a1String Quartet, Op. 51, no. 1 and Piano Quintet, Op. 34, by Brahms. Performed by the Brodsky Quartet.
“This new release is the second volume of The Brodsky Quartet’s exploration of the complete string quartets of Brahms. String Quartet Op 51 No. 1, which is featured on this recording, was published in 1873, and serves as evidence of the composer’s desire to revive and reinvigorate the genre of the string quartet made famous by Mozart and Haydn’s generation. Alongside the String Quartet, this release also features the Piano Quintet, Op 34. Ukrainian pianist Natacha Kudritskaya joins the ensemble for the Piano Quintet” (amazon.com).

ClassicalrecentMay16a2Cello Concerto, and Piano Trio no. 1, Op. 63, by Schumann. Performed by Queyras, Faust, Melnikov, Heras-Casado with the Freiburger Barockorchester.
This group of performers have been working their way through Schumann’s concertos and trios. “The Cello Concerto, though energetically championed by Clara Schumann, suffered from delays in publication and was not premiered until after the composer’s death. Interpreted in the same poetic spirit as its two predecessors, this third volume concludes an adventure that has changed for ever the way we listen to Schumann” (CD cover).

ClassicalrecentMay16a3Johannes-Passion, by J. S. Bach. Performed by RIAS-Kammerchor, Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin, and others.
“Bach revised his Johannes-Passion regularly: he returned to it over a period of twenty-six years, from 1724 to his death. It is the version hallowed by tradition, established by the Kantor a year before his death, that is presented on these CDs…” (CD cover).

These last two CDs come with bonus DVDs.