For some composers, one or two works dominate their history. Often, however, much other music is overlooked. That is the case for composer Max Bruch. Mention his name and most music lovers will respond with ‘Yes, the violin concerto’.
Today, my post deals with a new recording that features Bruch’s chamber music.
Bruch: String Quintets and the Octet.
String Quintet in E Flat, Op. posth (1918)
Octet in B flat major, Op. post. (1920)
String Quintet in A minor, Op. posth (1918)
All performed by The Nash Ensemble
All three works were written in the immediate aftermath of World War I, yet they feature a sound world of Brahmsian richness and warmth—very much the product of the composer of the famous Violin Concerto.
Gramophone Magazine wrote:
“The Nash ensemble have a natural feeling for the music’s ebb and flow, and while they’re not afraid of big gestures and the bite of horsehair and rosin, they play beautifully as an ensemble…Together, these performances go to the top of a not exactly crowded field; in fact his disc needs to be heard by everyone who loves German Romantic chamber music”
Here is the slow movement from Max Bruce’s Quintet in A-minor: