BRAHMS: STRING QUAR­TET IN A MI­NOR; CLAR­INET QUIN­TET Michael Collins (clar­inet), Brod­sky Quar­tet

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC -

Chan­dos Chan ★★★★ Brahms claimed to have writ­ten and de­stroyed 20 string quar­tets be­fore he man­aged to com­plete any he wanted to keep. The two quar­tets of his Op. 51, which he wrote in 1873, ended a quar­ter century drought of qual­ity work in the genre that had fol­lowed the death of Men­delssohn. The Brod­sky’s han­dling of the sec­ond of the pair is both ease­ful and in­tense, as if they’d set out to ban­ish through clar­ity and se­duc­tive­ness the claim that Brahms’s quar­tet style was just too rich. Clar­inet­tist Michael Collins joins the group for a hand-in-glove per­for­mance of the late Clar­inet Quin­tet. Ev­ery­thing here is per­fectly knit and bal­anced. The style may be too fluid and lan­guid for some tastes, but the work’s cel­e­brated au­tum­nal char­ac­ter is beau­ti­fully caught.

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