The featured recording at My Classical Notes today is:
String Quintet No. 1 in F major, Op. 88
String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op. 111
Performed by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne Chamber Players.
Brahms’ rewarding string quintets are neautifully performed by the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne Chamber Players in this album.
These technically demanding works contain everything one could wish for from the mature Brahms: searching melodies woven into glowing, luxuriant textures, highly lyrical sounds, and breathless, rhythmic passages.
“You have never before had such a beautiful work from me”, Brahms told his publisher about his Quintet No.1 in F major, Op. 88. This was no idle boast. The amiable and leisurely first movement with its warmly inviting opening melody is followed by a haunting second movement based on a sarabande with exquisite interplay between the instruments. In a nod to Beethoven, the energetic final movement is a masterly combination of fugue and sonata form but the result is pure Brahms.
The WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne Chamber Players are all members of the orchestra as well as pursuing their own international careers: Ye Wu (violin, Leader), Andreea Florescu (violin), Tomek Neugebauer (viola), Mischa Pfeiffer (viola) and Susanne Eychmüller (cello).
Here is the wonderful first movement of the Brahms Quintet Op. 88