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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Orchestra in the palm of your hand, 9 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Bruch; Mendelssohn - Octets (Audio CD)
I came across this recording on the BBC Music magazine podcast as it had been nominated for (and I think won) record of the year. It has taken its time to grow on me and only really overtook me when I bought a new MP3 player and began to listen to it late at night as I stood doing the dishes. I won't have Mp3 knocked! I know the best way to listen to Chamber music is ON VINYL in a small, partially lit room in a deep armchair and a very good stereo system, preferably quadrophonic with the deep armchair placed centrally, but headphones can almost replicate this.

The music is exquisite. This is one of those rare occasions where a truly great work of art is given a truly great performance and the one enhances the other. The pace is quick and the Mendelssohnian drive urgent, young, spirited and cleanly annunciated. The players bring a woody gravity to the tone but it is a supple, just-cut, green wood, a sapling wood, which elevates the magnificent, enigmatic octet to the stratosphere. Mendelssohn's ambition for the piece is so great that the stately and the sedate are out of the window and he seems to be straining at the leash, developing a fully orchestral sound here, a pocket orchestra, a mahogany firecracker in the palm of your hand. The sound is clear and crisp, engineering flawless and above all, the intuitive timing and measured breathing of the talented musiucians mean that the folky, sombre slow-movement becomes a bittersweet palette of wry melancholy and the puckish third movement almost has this listener laughing out loud with its sheer joy. As for the fugue... Well, it has a kind of manic urgency which suggests the 8 players are slowly slipping down hill and playing for their very lives.

A revelatory, delightful and full-blooded masterpiece, one of the best CD's I have ever purchsed, one I listen to two or three times a day at the moment and a real bargain on the not often superlative NAXOS, To be highly reccomended to fans of chamber music, Mendelssohn and simply, a good time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naxos does it again., 25 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Bruch; Mendelssohn - Octets (Audio CD)
I continue to praise Naxos the budget price label again and again. This recording of the Mendelssohn Octet is the best I've heard on both performance and recording quality, better than any of my full price purchases of this Mendelssohn masterpiece. The Bruch I can't compare with any other recordings because it's not a work I'm familiar with however I do like listening to this piece.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another hit for Naxos, 9 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Bruch; Mendelssohn - Octets (Audio CD)
This disc is pure pleasure. The Mendelssohn is of course one of the wonders of the world, and this performance does it justice. The Bruch was new to me, and while it doesn't quite scale the Himalayan heights of the Mendelssohn, it is a lovely work, and here given an extremely persuasive performance.
What a wonderful disc, and at Naxos price - just buy it and love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 20 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Bruch; Mendelssohn - Octets (Audio CD)
Little to add to the reviews below except to affirm that these are truly exceptional recordings of the Mendelssohn and Bruch octets. Great performances of wonderful music.
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Bruch; Mendelssohn - Octets
Bruch; Mendelssohn - Octets by Felix Mendelssohn (Audio CD - 2006)
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