Classical Reissue Reviews
SCHUMANN: Chamber music works [TrackList follows] – Gringolts Quartet/ Peter Laul, piano – Onyx (5 CDs)
Published on February 4, 2013
SCHUMANN: Chamber music works [TrackList follows] – Gringolts Quartet (Ilya Gringolts, Anahit Kurtikyan, Silvia Simionescu, Claudius Herrmann); Dmitry Kouzov, cello; Peter Laul, piano – Onyx ONYX4081 (5 CDs), 1:48.08 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] *****:
With the concluding two discs in Onyx’s homage to Robert Schumann, Ilya Gringolts concludes a remarkable series of performances which demonstrate to an extreme, occasionally nerve-wracking and consistently unforgettable degree the out of control fiery side of the composer’s emotional makeup, contrasted unavoidably to his dear friend Brahms’s magnificent sobriety. This is a set to treasure and reset your notions of what the music of Robert Schumann can be.
At every turn, Gringolts and his colleagues move swiftly and deftly, led by his quick nervous vibrato and forceful phrasing, to catch a change in mood, a new tune, a surge of energy and again, more suggestively this time perhaps, a new tune. There are lots of key places that bear this out: The last movement of the Second String Quartet, with its impossible cello 16th-note figures that must trigger one of the composer’s greatest inspiration, or all is lost. Or the sexual ebb and flow of the Piano Quintet’s first movement, and then all the way through. These same qualities apply to the violin sonatas and piano trios, already issued; it’s music that we can never know well enough, especially in revelatory performances like these.
The playing thrives on a close, intense and uncannily natural ambience (all except the violin sonatas were recorded in the Lutheran Church of Saint Catherine, St. Petersburg, Russia). Philip Borg-Wheeler’s liner notes make absorbing reading.
TrackList:Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105 with Peter Laul (piano) Violin Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 121 with Peter Laul (piano) Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor, WoO 27 with Peter Laul (piano) Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63 with Peter Laul (piano) & Dmitry Kouzov (cello) Piano Trio No. 2 in F major, Op. 80 with Peter Laul (piano) & Dmitry Kouzov (cello) Piano Trio No. 3 in G minor, Op. 110 with Peter Laul (piano) & Dmitry Kouzov (cello) String Quartets, Op. 41 Nos. 1-3 Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44 with Peter Laul (piano)