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Cat. No. CHAN 10707 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10707 - Korngold - String Sextet / Piano Quintet
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Available From: 31 January 2012
Korngold - String Sextet / Piano Quintet

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was one of the most astonishing prodigies in the history of western music, admired by Mahler, Strauss, and Puccini. His compositions were regularly performed by renowned musicians from around the world.

Korngold composed his Sextet for Strings between 1914 and 1916, at the same time as his opera Violanta, and for this reason perhaps, it takes on some of the theatrical elements of that work. The first movement presents some highly intricate counterpoint among the different voices. In the Adagio the mood shifts to one of intense sensuousness. The third movement brings relief to the highly charged atmosphere. Here Korngold plays – sometimes with an air of irony, sometimes jokingly, sometimes more straightforwardly – with that most Viennese of genres, the waltz. The finale, in typical Korngold fashion, is high-spirited and good-humoured.
The highly successful premiere of the Quintet for Two Violins, Viola, Cello, and Piano took place in Hamburg in 1923 with the composer at the keyboard. The work is in three elaborate and complex movements, with a piano part of considerable difficulty, and string writing on a virtuosic scale. With good humour and charm aplenty, the quintet displays the composer’s sunny disposition. In the work Korngold incorporated a musical code that he had developed to send secret, loving messages to his fiancée during concert performances.
Described by the magazine Gramophone as ‘one of the finest young string quartets’, whose members are ‘musicians with fascinating things to say’, the Doric String Quartet has received rave responses from audiences and critics across the globe. The Quartet’s recent recording of Korngold’s string quartets was a 2010 Critics’ Choice in Gramophone, and the group’s most recent recording on Chandos (CHAN 10692), of Schumann’s three string quartets, was ‘Recording of the Month’ in BBC Music. The Quartet is joined on this recording by Kathryn Stott on piano, Jennifer Stumm on viola, and Bartholomew LaFolette on cello.


"...the quality .... is impressive."  ****
Peter Joelsohn - AudiophileAudition.com - 29 August 2012

"...The instruments are closely miked, and the sweet strings complement Korngold’s edgy, post-Staussian Romanticism very well. The coupling is ideal. If you have any interest in Korngold, don’t miss it. This recording will help to convince any doubters that still remain out there."
Arthur Lintgen - Fanfare - September/October 2012

                      Repertoire *****                 Sound ****             Interpretation *****
Rafael Sala - Ensemble magazine (Germany) - August/September 2012

“...Only the utmost virtuosity can make this music work to best effect, and that’s exactly what it gets here. These works are for artists already accomplished – tailor-made for the Doric and friends...”
Don O’Connor – American Record Guide – July/August 2012

“...Tonal warmth and a finely structured approach”
Jonathan Woolf – MusicWeb-International.com – 22 May 2012

Supersonic – Pizzicato ‘A Must’

Guy Wagner – Pizzicato magazine – May 2012

“The Doric Quartet seem to have a Midas touch and any repertoire, however obscure, they commit to disc comes out sparkling. This is their second Korngold release, following an earlier disc of the composer’s String Quartets .Praise for that recording was universal, and this one looks set for a similar reception... The Dorics have found an ideal collaborator in Kathryn Stott, who has no apparent difficulties with the music’s many technical demands and who fits seamlessly into the ensemble... As with previous Doric Quartet releases on Chandos (Walton, Schumann), the sound quality is excellent, clear and detailed but also immediate and involving. A louder piano sound could be justified, although in the context of this interpretation the balance seems fine. Similarly with the bass in the Sextet, we could hear more from the bottom of the texture, but instead the engineers have gone for an even response across the range, which better matches Korngold’s finely balanced textures. Even by the Doric Quartet’s now well-established standards, this is an impressive release. It is to be hoped that the obscure repertoire won’t put off potential listeners, as playing of this standard deserves to find the widest possible audience.”
Gavin Dixon – musicweb-international.com – March 2012

                   Performance ****      Recording ****
Jessica Duchen – BBC Music magazine – April 2012

“...The performances are superb.”
Fiona Maddocks – The Observer – 26 February 2012


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