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Quintet for Piano & Strings [Import]

Giannini , Musicians of the Manchester Music Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 12.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Msr Classics
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,684 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 20th century chamber music masterpieces 18 Sep 2013
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Vittorio Giannini was born Philadelphia in 1903 and died in New York in 1966. He was born into a distinguished Italian-American musical family. Firmly centred in the European musical tradition he was a prolific composer in all genres; an impeccable craftsman and wonderful orchestrator. He once described his work as a "quest for the beautiful, with the humble hope that I may be privileged to achieve this goal, if only for one precious moment and share this moment with my listeners." Well he certainly achieved his aim with the two works on this disc which are world premiere recordings. His gorgeous three-movement quintet is undoubtedly a masterpiece. It is an outpouring of lush romantic, passionate, rhapsodic, dynamic, melodic expression. The piano trio is full of life; a richly ravishing, powerful, deeply-felt - at times ecstatic - work that cannot fail to emotionally move the listener. Why both of these wonderful works are not part of the regular concert repertoire beggars belief. The performances, by a mixed group of American and Eastern European soloists, are quite magnificent in their commitment and the recording is superb. This is a most exciting release that should be in the collection of all lovers of great chamber music. I've played it umpteen times since it arrived: just can't get enough of it! The Naxos label has released Giannini's 1937 piano concerto, redolent of Rachmaninov, and also his third symphony for wind band and his passionate, romantic fourth symphony. I would unhesitatingly recommend both of this discs which, like the Cd under review, are full of expressive, arching melodies.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Stars! An Amazing Find! 8 Sep 2012
By Eric Bruskin - Published on Amazon.com
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I've listened to this CD every day for the past week. I can't get enough of it.

The Piano Quintet is one of the most stunningly wonderful pieces I've come across in a long time. It's like middle-period Faure' on steroids - lush, extravagantly beautiful harmonies, but much more extroverted. The melodic and harmonic gestures are huge and generous - maybe what you'd expect from an Italian-American born in Philadelphia. The CD doesn't say when the piece was composed, but the composer was born in 1903. From the style and ardor, I'd guess it was written in the 1930s or 1940s, but its sound world is more like the turn of the century -- that glorious efflorescence of late romanticism among composers bursting with symphonic ambition even in their chamber music. The intensity level is comparable to that of the Brahms Piano Quintet. The harmonic language is at times somewhat reminiscent of the Piano Quintets that Leo Ornstein and Ernst Bloch wrote in the 1920s. (The Ornstein Piano Quintet is a sublime combination of Ravel and Rachmaninoff - see my review of the thrilling Janice Weber/Lydian Quartet CD, Leo Ornstein: Piano Quintet: String Quartet No. 3.)

Imagine the best of 19th century French elegance and pleasure, married (happily) to the best of 20th century American dynamism and Italian emotional abundance and sheer joy.

And the performance is simply amazing. It's powerful, ardent, urgent, plangent, open-hearted, spirited, as well as immaculate and perfectly pitched, both musically and dramatically. After my third or fourth hearing in as many days, it struck me just how absolutely perfect this performance is.

Evidently the piece was uncovered by ... the violist! (Ariel Rudiakov - he deserves special mention for this.) He and his stringed companions are superb, as is the fleet and muscular pianist. (It's a very flashy piano part.) I look forward to hearing more from them, playing music written by anybody, but I'd REALLY love to hear more Giannini. (The aforementioned violist is also a conductor, possibly increasing the possibilities.)

PS - I played Giannini's Symphony No. 3 for Band many years ago. I liked it alot, but this Piano Quintet is something else altogether. I also have the Naxos CD with Giannini's Piano Concerto and Symphony No. 4 (Giannini: Piano Concerto; Symphony No. 4), which I also liked, but again, this Piano Quintet is simply in another league.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb chamber works! 14 July 2013
By Eric C. Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
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Here are two beautiful works deserving of regular performance. The Trio is an excellent work, but I would like to especially mention the quintet. I have listened to this piece many times now and my admiration for it continues to grow. Every movement is memorable, in terms of melodic distinction, harmonic interest and emotional impact. In this work I hear stylistic references to Faure (only a little in my opinion) Chausson/Franck, Korngold (a few harmonic progressions), Jean Cras at times in the 2nd movement, to mention a few.

Anyone who thinks there are only a few worthy entries in the piano quintet genre hasn't heard many. This quintet belongs in the company of those by Biarent, Stanford, Suk, Zarebski. All of these quintets deserve more outings. Let's hope the outstanding performances on this disc encourage such an outcome!
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 27 Dec 2011
By Ariel - Published on Amazon.com
This disc has everything a world premiere should. Excellent, refined performances. Top-shelf production and the icing on the cake is an eye-catching cover.
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