Piano Quartet in G minor, K478
Piano Quartet in E flat, K493
[Erika Geldsetzer (violin), Sascha Frömbling (viola), Konstantin Heidrich (cello) & Dirk Mommertz (piano)]
Recorded in June and July 2005 in Teldex Studio, Berlin
Reviewed by: Colin Anderson
Reviewed: March 2006
CD No: DG 477 5885
Duration: 53 minutes
Poise and vitality inform the G minor work, unforced energy sustaining the agitated first movement – but with no lack of dynamic and emotional contrasts or searching. This is impressive playing and interpretation; a real sense of teamwork and give-and-take is evident, with no let-up of intensity, but with no lack of variegation either – the string players’ lean timbres and Dirk Mommertz’s buoyant pianism make for special insights. The Andante is delightfully flowing and with no lack of feeling – an expressive urgency that allows no discontinuity of invention or any shortfall of poeticism – and the finale’s measured tempo brings a disarming combination of genial truculence and musical articulation.
The urbane E flat work is similarly distinctive. The members of the Karlsruhe-formed, Fauré-anniversary-inspired ensemble have an innate ability to project without hectoring and to involve the listener without the need for trickery, deviation or spurious intervention. How satisfyingly equable is the first movement’s purposeful tread and spine-tingling confidences, and the sustained conversation of the development is gripping. The Larghetto is enshrined with a ‘song without words’ eloquence – a reserve of profundity uncovered at its mid-point – while the finale rejoices in bubbling good humour.
There is no such thing as perfection, but the Fauré Quartett is dangerously close to challenging this notion. The group’s success is each member’s inborn musicianship, the sense of friends making music together sublimely and perceptively, and the musicians’ collective ability to say so much in the most natural way. The Fauré Quartett has been beautifully recorded, too, with a mix of immediacy, space and judicious balance between the foursome who play as equals and who care deeply about what they do and about each other.