CLASSICA Magazine, Alexandra Corrin
“Choc du Mois” Award
(“Hit of the Month”)
A quintet at the pinnacle.
The ensemble assembled around violinist Christian Tetzlaff takes hold of the “Cello Quintet” in a burning and incisive manner, a far cry from the luminous fullness of the Emerson Quartet with Rostropovich (Deutsche Gramophon, 1990), or the orchestral thickness of the romantic Weller Quartet with Gürtler (Decca, 1970) or the elegant Alban Berg Quartet with Schiff (Warner, 1982).
With the tempo moving along, the first movement, light, almost dry, is weightless in anticipating the second beats, in detailing the voices, and the subtle time taken by the quintet at the reprise, barely pressing the nuances, holds us back even more.
Reaching new heights in the finesse of the texture, the first violin leading the discussion with an inventiveness and a variety of colours in its simple pointed interjections, sometimes luminous, vibrant, on a knife-edge, straight, or almost muffled, the second movement leads into an intense central section full of struggle and complaint, running out of breath in the offbeats of a wildly beating heart.
A sickly dance on the edge of the abyss, dry, arid, the Scherzo becomes a trio, suddenly cradled in a forest of strings, and at the reprise sounds like a joyful awakening, the return of youth.
The Allegretto, spirited, determined, elegant and virtuosic, punctuated by moments of humour from the violin, concludes this pinnacle of chamber music with joy.
Translated from French