Quintet in A for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass, D667 (Trout)
Quartet in E flat for piano, violin, viola and cello, K493
Yefim Bronfman (piano), Pinchas Zukerman (violin), Jethro Marks (viola), Amanda Forsyth (cello) & Joel Quarrington (double bass)
Recorded 5-7 May 2007 in The Multi-Media Room of the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Reviewed by: Colin Anderson
Reviewed: June 2008
CD No: RCA RED SEAL
Duration: 69 minutes
Mozart’s outgoing Piano Quartet (placed second on the disc) is both bullish and confiding. Such a display of full-toned confidence in the opening bars and then some sweet contrasting refrains suggests something of a ‘golden age’ performance. Tempos are relaxed but always with a sense of direction, the middle movement Larghetto fertile with meaning and given with some magical diminution of tone and dynamics. The finale enjoys puckish humour and stylish rhythms. This is real chamber-music-making, a sense of give and take, Yefim Bronfman full of character but not dominating, his string colleagues shaping their parts with love, finesse and elan – a joyous performance, four soloists coming together to share good conversation.
The ever-popular ‘Trout’ Quintet sounds new-minted here. Joel Quarrington’s double bass is a real presence in the mix in an account that is brimful of civility and (often-witty) attention to detail; the players have time to engage fully with the music – it shape and its decoration – and time to converse and bubble. There’s nothing prissy here, nothing laboured over – rather here is a quintet of like-minded musicians who relate to renditions of this music that one would associate with the first two-thirds of the 20th-century; accordingly they give rich-sounding, lively and generous performance with no shortage of charm and brilliance.
The excellent recording captures these two winning versions with immediacy and space.