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String Sextet, Piano Quintet (Copenhagen Classic, Bjorkoe)

Louis Glass Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 12.20
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Product details

  • Composer: Louis Glass
  • Audio CD (27 Jun 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B0009JVOJS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 690,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Glass is often over-shadowed by the popularity of his Danish contemporary, Carl Nielsen, but the Copenhagen Classic ensemble have given his repertoire a well deserved airing with the kind of stylish flair that just can't be ignored.

The group have earned themselves the reputation as one of the leading chamber ensembles in Denmark and the quality of this recording captures their talent and verve for Glass work magnificently.

The CD opens with the Sextet for strings in D flat, op. 15, and the group saunter through the first movement with lively confidence. The poignant melody that follows in the second movement sits in intense contrast to the humour and wit that the players reveal in the Scherzo, all the while demonstrating Glass' emotive late Romantic style. The final movement begins with a jaunty feel to it, before moving into more reserved territory with the short repetitive bursts of melody that became such a signature of Glass style.

The Quintet for piano and strings in C major, op. 22, features soloist Christina Bjorkoe at the keyboard - her performance brings out the brilliance of the piano from the almost regal opening of the first movement through to the lightness of touch in the Scherzo. The natural ease with which she is accompanied by the Copenhagen Classic ensemble only adds to the performance and their richness in tone really comes alive in the finale, with lavish swirls of piano weaving in and out amongst the strings.

What makes this recording all the more memorable is the warmth and depth of tone produced by the ensemble. Copenhagen Classic give the pieces plenty of room to breathe, whilst the quality of the recording preserves each instrument's own characteristic colour with crystal clarity, producing a breathtaking sound.

Like This? Try These:

Bax: String Quartets

Brahms/Schumann: Chamber Music

Bruch: Chamber works --Andrew McGregor

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Product Description

CPO 777062; CPO - CLASSIC PROD.OSNABRUCK - Germania;

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Louis Glass (1864-1936) was born in Copenhagen only a year before his compatriot Carl Nielsen, but his music is much older-sounding that Nielsen's, largely because he was initially a follower of the style of the notably conservative Niels Gade, a composer who was the leader of the previous generation of Danish composers. The son of a piano professor, Glass reached professional levels in both his piano and cello playing and indeed made his solo début playing each of those instruments. He was a leading pedagogue in Denmark at the end of the 19th century and up to his death in the 1930s. He was later influenced by the music of Franck and Bruckner. He is primarily remembered for his symphonies. Here we have his two most important chamber pieces, a string sextet and a piano quintet, played by Danish musicians.
The String Sextet in G Major, Op. 15, is a four-movement work (fast-slow-fast-fast) notable for its square thematic material, often repeated in sequences, and its insistent, if sometimes awkward, rhythmic figures. Although written in the early 1890s, harmonically it sounds as if it could have been written thirty years earlier. There is some influence of Bruckner in the block construction. Aside from a harmonically interesting trio section in the scherzo and the neat formal construction, this is not a terribly memorable work. The string sextet, Copenhagen Classic, plays with ardor that sometimes approaches harshness.
In the Piano Quintet in C Major, Op. 22, Copenhagen Classic are joined by pianist Christina Bjoerkoe. The instrumentation is that of the Schumann Piano Quintet.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chamber Music by a Danish Contemporary of Carl Nielsen 4 July 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Louis Glass (1864-1936) was born in Copenhagen a year before his compatriot Carl Nielsen, but his music is much older-sounding that Nielsen's, largely because he was initially a follower of the style of the notably conservative Niels Gade, a composer who was the leader of the previous generation of Danish composers. The son of a piano professor, Glass reached professional levels in both his piano and cello playing and indeed made his solo début playing each of those instruments. He was a leading pedagogue in Denmark at the end of the 19th century and up to his death in the 1930s. He was later influenced by the music of Franck and Bruckner. He is primarily remembered for his symphonies. Here we have his two most important chamber pieces, a string sextet and a piano quintet, played by Danish musicians.

The String Sextet in G Major, Op. 15, is a four-movement work (fast-slow-fast-fast) notable for its square thematic material, often repeated in sequences, and its insistent, if sometimes awkward, rhythmic figures. Although written in the early 1890s, harmonically it sounds as if it could have been written thirty years earlier. There is some influence of Bruckner in the block construction. Aside from a harmonically interesting trio section in the scherzo and the neat formal construction, this is not a terribly memorable work. The string sextet, Copenhagen Classic, plays with ardor that sometimes approaches harshness.

In the Piano Quintet in C Major, Op. 22, Copenhagen Classic are joined by pianist Christina Bjoerkoe. The instrumentation is that of the Schumann Piano Quintet. Written 5-6 years after the Sextet, the Piano Quintet was dedicated to the Swedish composer and violinist Tor Aulin whose Aulin String Quartet (with composer Wilhelm Stenhammar at the piano) premièred the work in 1897. Possibly because Glass was himself a fine pianist as well as a string player, the work blends the sounds of strings and piano expertly. But in a number of passages the work almost sounds like a piano concerto with string accompaniment. This allows Glass to vary his means of construction and in the event the Quintet is an altogether more impressive piece than the Sextet. The work opens with a striking ceremonial fanfare-like passage whose rhythm recurs throughout. There are Schumannesque passages that feature the 'Legendton' sound so frequent in Schumann's piano music; one hears the similarity of that sound to the organ-influenced string writing deriving from Bruckner and this makes for a satisfying stylistic synthesis. It may be simply because I preferred the Quintet, but it sounds as if the instrumentalists are more convinced by the quality of the Quintet than the Sextet. Whatever the reason, this is a successful performance of a worthy late Romantic chamber work.

TT=71:00

Scott Morrison
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