some music to consider

I’ve been on a reading kick, as you may recall from this earlier entry, and I’m also finding new recordings (both newly recorded and oldies reissued) and have found an example of each that you should definitely check out. Continue reading “some music to consider”

mozart + grumiaux = perfection


As I was listening to a portion of the Kairos Ensemble rehearsing for tonight’s upcoming benefit concert for Portland’s Phame Academy, I was struck (again) by just how great Mozarts quintets for strings (two violins, two violas, and cello) are. They are doing his great D major, K. 593 quintet, which I had the pleasure of performing at the Tanglewood Music Center for my last chamber ensemble performance there (more on that in a future post). There are quite a few recordings of the Mozart string quintets, but few great ones. ┬áThere are really two recordings in the non-HIP (historically-informed performance) tradition, a set by the Guarneri Quartet (with guest violists Steven Tenenbom, Kim Kashkashian, and Ani & Ida Kavafian) which is finally available on an CD (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3) and the great complete set by the great Belgiqn violinist Arthur Grumiaux and friends, which is available as an Amazon download and on CD.

Arthur Grumiaux

There is such a suave, Gallic sensibility to how Grumiaux and his ensemble play these great works of Mozart, and in particular the slow movements. I think that the slow movement of the K. 593 quintet might be one of the greatest of the many that Mozart wrote (including those of his other quintets, in particular the great pair of K. 515 in C major and K. 516 in g minor) – it is quite perfect in a way that no one other than JS Bach quite achieved. Take a listen:


And a video of Grumiaux playing part of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto: