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Cat. No. CHAN 10151 H Price: £9 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10151 - Brahms: Quintet, Op. 115 / Mozart: Quartet, KV 421
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Audio Sample

Available From: 15 September 2003
"Mozart first met Haydn in 1781, the year in which the older composer published his six so-called ‘Russian’ Quartets, Op. 33. These works can be considered the first examples of quartets written in a rich and entirely mature classical style. In the next three years after their encounter, Mozart produced six string quartets which were published in 1785 with a dedication to Haydn. There is no doubt that he was inspired by Haydn’s example and his works carried the development of the classical quartet even further. Moreover, it was after a performance of these quartets that Haydn declared to Mozart’s father that his son was the greatest composer known to him. The second of Mozart’s six ‘Haydn’ quartets, the Quartet in D minor, was composed in June 1783. According to legend he even worked on it during the night that his wife Constanze was giving birth to their first child. This is one of Mozart’s most concentrated works, and one of his most emotionally unguarded.

Like Mozart’s quartet, Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet in B minor is a work of great expressive consistency and some emotional disturbance – though this manifests itself more in melancholy and nostalgia, as befits a work of Brahms’s late middle age. The creation of Brahms’s last four chamber works was sparked by the artistry of the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld. In 1890 Brahms seemingly bade farewell to composition with his String Quintet No. 2, but the polish and sensitivity of Mühlfeld’s playing re-awakened the creative urge. Not only do the works he wrote for Mühlfeld rank among the supreme masterpieces in the instrument’s repertoire, they also represent the purest distillation of Brahms’s thought in the chamber music medium.


The Borodin Quartet with clarinettist Ivan Mozgovenko, give as sublime a performance of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet as one could ever wish to hear' The coupling is a similarly unhurried and masterly performance of Mozarts K421 D minor Quartet…
International Record Review

First recorded in the early 1970s, the Borodins version of the 13 string quartets Shostakovich had then written… has never been bettered… a landmark recording.
The Observer on CHAN H10064(4) (Shostakovich)

The Borodins utter ease in this music is astonishing. They know instinctively how to let every phrase breathe, and how to let Tchaikovskys lyricism take wing, while their tonal refinement seems to command an infinite variety of colour.
The Guardian on CHAN H9871(2) (Tchaikovsky)

…these performances remain unequalled on disc… every one of their accounts of these works is etched with a special intensity and supported by an unshakable technical mastery. The playing is sometimes terrifyingly immediate, but it also has great delicacy and tact when required….Absolutely indispensible.
The Guardian on CHAN H10064(4) (Shostakovich)


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