Schubert: String Quintet


Olivier Marron (cello), Arcanto Quartett Harmonia Mundi HMC 9022106*****

The early difficulties of Schubert’s late String Quintet (it was rejected by his publisher, not performed in public until23 years after his death, nor published for a further three years) seem incomprehensible now that the work has such a hallowed place in the repertoire. The piece has a draw in a chamber music programme

like that of a star soloist in an orchestral concert. The Arcanto Quartett and Olivier Marron add to its aura by delivering a recording that sounds as if came from a group of musicians who manage to approach the music without the usual baggage of preconceptions about how it should go in performance.

Not only is the music illuminated in new, intriguing ways, but the eschewal of familiar sentimentality frequently makes it more touching than usual and also more expressively probing.

Not to be missed.

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