In the South: Brodsky String Quartet
In the South
Brodsky String Quartet, Hugo Wolf, Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Joaquín Turina, Astor Piazzolla, Nicolò Paganini
The Brodsky Quartet’s southerly adventure ranges from Turina’s Spain and Verdi and Puccini’s Italy to Piazzolla’s Argentina, the Italy of Hugo Wolf’s imagination, and sensual quartet arrangements by Paul Cassidy of two of Paganini’s solo violin Caprices. The major work is Verdi’s Quartet in E minor of 1873, a piece that, given its composer’s operatic background, seems to have struck people as falling between the stools of opera and chamber music. The Brodskys play it with alert affection. Fascinating as the enriched Paganini is, it won’t be to everyone’s taste. The players drool a little too much sentimentality into Wolf’s Italian Serenade and Puccini’s elegiac Crisantemi , but find better balances in Turina’s La oración del Torero and Piazzolla’s Four, for Tango .