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After a highly acclaimed series of Brahms chamber music releases for ONYX, the Nash Ensemble turn their attention to 19th-century Russian repertoire.
Glazunov’s superbly crafted String Quintet in A of 1891 is coupled with Arensky’s Second Quartet with two cellos and Borodin’s unfinished Sextet for strings in D minor. The latter was written, according to the composer, in Mendelssohnian style ‘to please the Germans’ while he was in Heidelberg.
Borodin: String Sextet in D minor
Glazunov: String Quintet Op.39
Scherzo, Allegro Moderato
Arensky: Quartet in A Minor for violin, viola and two cellos, Op. 35
Variations Sur Un Thême De P. Tschaikowsky. Moderato
Finale. Andante Sostenuto
15th April 2012
“The Nash Ensemble’s superior string players make a beautiful case for these not overfamiliar 19th-century Russian works.”
19th April 2012
“gorgeously played by the Nash Ensemble.. while Glazunov's 1892 quintet is fluent and ingratiating if rather unmemorable. Like the rest of the disc, though, it's delivered with such energy and relish that hardly matters”
The Irish Times
27th April 2012
“It’s the Arensky which actually contains the best-known music. Its central movement, arranged for string orchestra, has an independent life as the Variations on a theme of Tchaikovsky. The pieces are more focused on pleasure than profundity, and in these beautifully polished Nash Ensemble performances, fall agreeably, sometimes delectably, on the ear. The Arensky Variations are a delight in their original form.”
“This well-planned album offers three complementary works linked both by the genial spirit of Borodin...[his Sextet] has considerable charm...Both movements are played here by the Nash Ensemble with relish and conviction...Top of the bill in every sense is Arensky's Quartet of 1894, presenting a hugely inventive variety of textures.”
11th June 2012
“a delightful cherry-picking of 19th-century Russian chamber-repertoire...Their playing is characteristically sweet and bright, and they find the right balance between Russian folk-tune ponderousness and Slavic emotionalism.”
“An original and attractive record”
“the Nash Ensemble give warm-hearted, lyrical readings of all these works, and there are too many highlights to mention.The engineering leaves nothing to be desired; the program, filling as it does three gaps in the average listener’s library, adds up to more than the sum of its parts. The cover design’s pretty terrific too. I could go on, but what more do you need to hear?”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.