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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful recording, 23 April 2014
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Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Brahms: String Quintets [Lawence Power, Takacs Quartet] [Hyperion: CDA67900] (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful recording. That's hardly a surprise, because the Takacs Quartet are one of the world's greatest quartets and Lawrence Power is a magnificent viola player, but it's worth saying anyway.

The music is fabulous. I confess that I struggle with a lot of Brahms, especially his larger orchestral works, but these quintets have an intimate delicacy and intensity which I love, all of which is beautifully captured by these five great musicians.

Technically, of course, they are superb, with impeccable intonation and a lovely understanding between them. They also have a deep understanding of this varied, complex music. In the adagio of the G major Quintet, for example, they handle the shifts between beautiful lyricism, gentle charm and dark, concealed passion with immense finesse so that it all just flows naturally as though we were catching a single individual as their mood subtly alters. The whole disc is infused with the same unforced depth and genuine intellectual weight which never drags the music down. I love it.

Beautifully recorded and presented - as always - by Hyperion, this is a very fine disc all round. It has become a real favourite of mine in quite a short time and I recommend it very warmly.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Performance : Dreadful Booklet, 29 April 2014
This review is from: Brahms: String Quintets [Lawence Power, Takacs Quartet] [Hyperion: CDA67900] (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful performance of relatively unknown music which contains endless riches. It is unfortunate that Hyperion decided to invite Frances Pott to write analytical notes. I have never read such pompous,pretentious, academic nonsense which totally misses the emotional messages of the music . Perhaps one typical passage will give its flavour. Commenting on the wonderful sweep of the cello melody in the Opus 111 first movement we are told that the theme has ' often been cited as a searching test of the player's control and projection ' and that the movement then 'embodies much conscious undermining or displacement of normal accentuation'. I extend my sympathy to Pott's students. Lets hope they can get to the music without his ponderous guidance. My advice to Hyperion is to consider what the purpose of a booklet is intended to be .The company set high standards with the Graham Johnson notes on its Schubert edition which were both erudite and inspiring. They also showed delightful touches of wit. Pott on the other hand is obscure, off-putting and totally without humour. Fortunately the disc rises above his efforts; listen before you read !
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