RU­BIN­STEIN: PIANO QUAR­TETS Rita Man­ning (vi­o­lin), Mor­gan Goff (vi­ola), Justin Pear­son (cello), Les­lie Howard (piano)

Hype­r­ion CDA 68018 ★★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - MICHAEL DER­VAN

The 19th-century Rus­sian gi­ant An­ton Ru­bin­stein, re­garded as the only pi­anist wor­thy of men­tion in the same breath as Liszt, was a com­poser said to be too pro­lific for his own good. Shaw once lam­pooned some­one else’s con­cert by say­ing the mu­sic “was not of the slight­est in­ter­est, be­ing pure Ru­bin­stein from be­gin­ning to end”. Les­lie Howard, who recorded all of Liszt’s piano mu­sic, is now on Ru­bin­stein’s case. The Piano Quar­tet in F was orig­i­nally a quin­tet for piano and wind, and Howard ar­gues that it was en­riched in the process of ar­range­ment. Ei­ther way, the slightly later C ma­jor Quar­tet, Op 66, is a more richly knitted work, and the way the string play­ers rally around the over­sized piano writ­ing seems just right.

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