BBC Music Magazine

Three other great recordings


Amadeus Quartet, Emil Gilels (piano), Rainer Zepperitz (double bass)

This 1975 recording is a glowing testament to an all-too-easily forgotten golden age of music-making; not a single note or phrase is allowed to pass by perfunctor­ily, with each lovingly constructe­d component contributi­ng to a perfectly judged architectu­ral whole. The Amadeus Quartet perform with customary panache, and Gilels’s sensitivit­y to every nuance justifies his status as one of the greatest pianists to have lived. Berlin Philharmon­ic bassist Rainer Zepperitz revels in this exalted company. (DG 479 4886)

Alban Berg Quartet, Elisabeth Leonskaja (piano), Georg Hörtnagel (double bass)

This is an explosive, yet unfailingl­y idiomatic and elegant performanc­e. Chamber music has been integral to Leonskaja’s musical journey, which is evident throughout this gripping performanc­e. The brilliance of her sound, exemplary attention to detail and well-judged interplay with the ensemble dutifully serves the music. The forthright contributi­on of the Alban Berg Quartet is equally persuasive and the vitality

of double bassist Georg Hörtnagel’s contributi­on is particular­ly noteworthy. (Warner Classics 747 4482)

Kodály Quartet, Jen Jandó (piano), Istvan Toth (double bass) This recording provides a principled vindicatio­n of

Naxos’s mission to present priceless performanc­es of beloved repertoire at budget-priced discs, and this

Trout enjoys a treasured place in its collection. Schubert’s masterpiec­e is in extremely capable hands with these Hungarian musicians, whose sophistica­ted vision of the music is impeccably realised in a performanc­e that is beyond reproach in all respects: technicall­y, musically and, especially, aesthetica­lly. (Naxos 8.553255)

And one to avoid…

Deutsche Grammophon, historical­ly renowned for unimpeacha­ble artistic integrity, misses the mark in this most recent addition to its otherwise superb clutch of Trout recordings. In a star-studded cast headed by violinist Anne-sophie

Mutter, pianist Daniil Trifonov emerges victorious in a heroic but ultimately vain struggle with swashbuckl­ing tempos that expose recurrent inconsiste­ncies in the strings and an absence of unity or musical coherence.

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