Title - 'The New York Concert: Mozart, Fauré, Dvorák'
Artist - Evgeny Kissin & Emerson String Quartet
For those not in the know, Evgeny Kissin is a Russian classical pianist who has been a British citizen since 2002 and an Israeli citizen since 2013.
Indeed, he first came to international fame as a child prodigy. He has a wide repertoire and is especially known for his interpretations of the works of the Romantic era, particularly those of Frédéric Chopin, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
He is commonly viewed as a great successor of the Russian piano school because of his virtuosity and powerful key touch.
Furthermore, when the great pianist Kissin makes a rare foray into chamber music when he partners with the Emerson String Quartet you immediately know you are in for a sumptuous musical treat.
So here on the just-released 2CD set The New York Concert: Mozart, Fauré, Dvorák (via Deutsche Grammophon) from the aforementioned and highly renowned Evgeny Kissin & Emerson String Quartet, the serious tone, flashes of drama, and technically challenging roles Mozart assigns to each player makes his Piano Quartet in G Minor — the first notable work for this combination of instruments — a simply groundbreaking composition.
Opening with the stern, precise keyed storytelling of an era within the beauty of 'Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, K. 478 - 1. Allegro,' he moves seamlessly into the sweeping majesty of 'Andante' and then the raptures found within 'Rondo, Allegro monerato' in such a way that I could sit and listen to this one piece over and over.
Fauré's quartet is high spirited with an abundance of lyricism, passion, and an especially robust role for the pianist. This work opens with the cultured stance of the day found within 'Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15 - 1. Allegro molto moderato' before finding its way into both 'Scherzo, Allegro vivo, the stern embers of 'Adagio,' and the passionate, yet restrained 'Allegro molto.'
Striking melodies, vigorous rhythms, great depth of feeling, and hints of Czech folk music are the Dvořák trademarks present in his large-scaled quintet and they all seep through immediately on the opening 'Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, B. 155 - 1. Allegro, ma non tanto.'
A simply divine piece it is yet another that starts slow, builds, then jumps into gear sooner rather than later. The power of 'Dumka, Andante con moto,' the vibrant 'Scherzo (Furiant),' and then the hauntingly beautiful 'Finale, Allegro' makes this a wondrous opening to the second disc included in this new release.
The album itself then rounds out with the bonus Encore of Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G minor op. 57 'Scherzo Allegretto,' which in and unto itself features some fearfully dark moods, but overall is still such a free flowing endeavor of gravitas.
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