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Piano Quartets

Perhaps the highest achievements of romantic piano quartet writing are the three quartets of Brahms. Each is a masterpiece in itself.

The first, Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25 is perhaps the more popular. The first movement, based on a four note figure, is rich with inventiveness and vigor. The second movement, entitled Intermezzo, has muted strings and a wistful melody played over a driving, insistent rhythm. The third movement, Andante, manages to be both stately, warm and expressive, all simultaneously. The finale, a bawdy Rondo alla Zingarese, pleases both audiences and players with its drama and fun. It has four themes, pressing onto a molto presto ending.

The C minor quartet, Op. 60, although published in 1875, much later than his Opus 25 and 26, was actually begun several years earlier in about 1855. Most scholars agree that the first and third movements have their origin in a C sharp minor quartet that he put aside after disappointing rehearsals in 1856. In 1874 he returned to it, revising it, changing the key, adding a scherzo and writing a new finale.


Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60


Perfomed by Hector Sanchez, piano
Joanna Maurer, violin
Masumi Rostad, viola
Tim Park, cello
 

1
Allegro no troppo
10:36
2
Scherzo, Allegro
4:22
3
Andante
9:43
4
Finale, Allegro comodo
11:50