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Both works on this new Phoenix Edition recording are from César Franck’s late period of composition. The Piano Quintet in F minor, owes its formal arrangement to Beethoven’s Quartetto serioso in F minor op. 95 and with its expressive, dramatic and symphonic structure heralded a new dimension of French chamber music. The massively symphonic and majestic sound with the highly virtuoso piano part pushes the work to the frontier between chamber and orchestral music.
The String Quartet completed in 1890 bears witness to his increased preoccupation with Beethoven’s late works. Vincent d’Indy described it as a “sonate cyclique”, the composer’s own accented restoration of sonata form, a balancing act between simplicity and complexity of the formal structure.
The Petersen Quartet, praised for many years for its courageously expressive tonal aesthetics and interpretations, is supported in this recording by an equally virtuosic Artur Pizarro, who knows how to elicit everything “monumentally symphonic” from the demanding piano part.
Artur Pizarro is a critically acclaimed pianist who has a broad range of repertoire across a variety of well known labels including Hyperion, Naxos, Harmonia Mundi and Collins Classics. He now extends his repertoire to the piano music of Faure and appears for the first time on Phoenix Edition.
Cesar Franck: Piano Quintet in F minor, M. 7
I. Molto moderato
III. Allegro non troppo
Cesar Franck: String Quartet in D major, M. 9
I. Poco lento - Allegro
II. Scherzo: Vivace
IV. Finale - Allegro molto
“The catalogue is hardly overflowing with accounts of the seating Piano Quintet, but, even if they were as commonplace as discs of Vivaldi's Four Seasons… this stunning new performance from Artur Pizarro and the Petersen Quartet would surely sit top of the pile. Pizzaro fits into the tight-knit ensemble perfectly, not attempting (like some pianists) to turn the work into a mini-piano concerto. ...the String Quartet: although more reflective, it is another sublime, impassioned masterpiece... I recently praised the Dante Quartet's marvellous version (on Hyperion) as being 'without peer among modern accounts' but the Petersons are, if anything, even better. With chamber playing of this standard Franck could not want for better advocates.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.