Schumann Quintet

Schumann: Piano Quartet & Piano Quintet


  • Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47
  • Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44

Performed by Alexander Melnikov (piano), with the Jerusalem Quartet

The Piano Quintet Op.44 and the Piano Quartet Op.47 date from a brief period during which Schumann focused his attention intensively on chamber music (between June 1842 and January 1843). These works underline his wish to escape from the solo piano, now ‘too restricted’ for his overflowing imagination, as he told his wife, Clara.

The Quintet, which made a powerful impression on Richard Wagner, is probably one of his most sophisticated works, into which Schumann poured all the creative energy he derived from meticulous examination of similar works by his predecessors, especially Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert.

The CD tracks are as follows:

1. Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op.47: I. Sostenuto assai – Allegro ma non troppo

2. Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op.47: II. Scherzo. Molto vivace

3. Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op.47: III. Andante cantabile

4. Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Op.47: IV. Finale. Vivace

5. Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: I. Allegro brillante

6. Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: II. In modo d’una Marcia. Un poco largamente

7. Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: III. Scherzo. Molto vivace

8. Piano Quintet in E Flat Major, Op.44: IV. Finale. Allegro, ma non troppo

The Observer, on the 29th April, 2012 wrote the following:

“While the piano quartet has great vitality and charm, the quintet is on a different level of achievement: a fiendish pianistic challenge as well as a masterpiece of the genre… In the Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov they have a collaborator of rare musical intelligence as well as virtuosity…”

The Times wrote the following about the Jerusalem Quartet:

“Passion, precision, warmth, a gold blend: these are the trade- marks of this excellent Israeli string quartet.”

Here is the Schumann Quintet for Piano and Strings in E flat Major.
Performed by Pianist Hélène Grimaud, Violins: Renaud Capuçon, Sayaka Shoji; Viola: Lars Anders Tomter; Cello: Mischa Maisky

And here is the 4th Movement of the Schumann, Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op.44; as performed by Pianist Martha Argerich, and Cello: Mischa Maisky

Tags: Robert Schumann, Quintet for piano and strings, piano quartet, Alexander Melnikov, Jerusalem Quartet

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