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Brahms first wrote his Op. 34 as a string quintet before recasting it for two pianos and then as the version for piano quintet known today. In this imaginative reconstruction as a string quintet by the Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen, the Zebra Trio is joined by some of Britain’s most outstanding stringplayers, allowing modern listeners to hear a version of the work in textures closer to Brahms’ original thoughts.
It is coupled in this recording by Brahms’ own rarely heard version of the Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115, as a string quintet, with a viola replacing the clarinet.
Johannes Brahms: String Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 (reconstructed by A. Karttunen)
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante un poco adagio
III. Scherzo: Allegro
IV. Finale: Poco sostenuto - Allegro non troppo
Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115 (version for viola and string quartet)
II. Adagio - Piu lento
III. Andantino - Presto non assai, ma con sentimento
IV. Con moto
“Anssi Karttunen of the Zebra Trio has done a heroic job in attemptin to recreate the work in its original guise...Although there are some moment of speculative intonation, these vivid and clearly recorded performances offer fascinating perspectives on some very familiar music.”
“This is the kind of disc that makes the most jaded listener sit up straight and pay attention: marvellous music, compellingly performed and beautifully produced...The result is as exciting a disc of chamber music as I have heard this year.”
5th July 2012
“the Piano Quintet in F minor Op 34 had begun life as a quintet for strings alone...What's recorded here is a speculative reconstruction of that original quintet by Anssi Karttunen, cellist of the Zebra Trio; it's paired here with an all-strings version of the Clarinet Quintet Op 115”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.