Schumann: Piano Quintet/ 4Tet (Marchenerzahlungen) (Xiayin Wang/ Fine Arts Quartet) (Naxos: 8.572661)
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Between 1841 and 1843 Schumann wrote some of his greatest chamber works, among them the Piano Quartet
and the Piano Quintet
, both in E flat major
. Written in an astonishing five-day period, the Quintet displays both the heroic and the lyric impulses in his music, boldness contrasting with songful tenderness, and march themes with lyricism. The Piano Quartet also exudes such qualities, not least in the ravishing slow movement, and the masterful breadth of Schumann's expression. The four Marchenerzahlungen are happy, energetic pieces.
Winning high praise from the American press, pianist Xiayin Wang has toured with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in St Petersburg itself, as well as in the United States. Founded in Chicago in 1946, and based at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1963, the Fine Arts Quartet is one of the elite few to have recorded and toured internationally for over half a century.
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