Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Speed does not equal intensity!
on 25 August 2010
I bought this recording on the strength of the previous reviewer who found it "scintilating" and also as the recommendation of the BBC3 CD Review "Building a Library" prgramme. This was I may add from the database as I didn't hear the programme in which the Schumann Quintet was reviewed. I have to say that when I played the CD it was intensely disappointing. I've compared the timings for the various movements with other recordings and almost without exception those of Andsnes and Artemis Quartet are considerably faster than other performers. However the speeds are uncomfortably fast, although never at the expense of accuracy I acknowledge, and feel rushed. Only at one point, in the faster section of the second movement when the viola drums out the movement's main theme did I feel a strong sense of involvement. This movement is the emotional epicentre of the work and to me points to the mental distress that was eventually to drive Schumann to attempt suicide by throwing himself into the Rhine and end his days in an asylum. The dramatic changes in tempo and mood in this movement are not done full justice by the speed it is taken at in this recording.
I recently (August 2010) heard this work live at the cerne Abbas Festival by players of the Gaudier Ensemble with Susan Tomes as the pianist. It was one of the most intense and moving performances of any work I have ever heard and at the end I felt so emotional from the performance I could barely speak! If only the Gaudier or the Florestan Trio, both of which have Susan Tomes as pianist, would record this work, that would be the performance for me and fill all the gaps that Artemis and Andsnes left!