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Soundbites from 2006

Of CDs Reviewed  in

We have provided synopsis reviews. Entire reviews can be found in the referenced issue. Soundbites are provided as educational examples of the comments in the reviews. Please note we do not sell CDs and these soundbites are not complete movements but only short clips which are reproduced under the educational and research fair use exception to U.S. Copyright Law—Title 17 Sec. 107. These soundbites can be listened to on line if you have DSL or cable or downloaded if you have dial-up service. The files are in MP3 format.





Antonio Cartellieri (1772-1807)

5 Quartets for Clarinet & String Trio (1806)

2CDs: MD&G 301 1097 /98

Reviewed Summer 2006 

These works are generally written in the concertante style. The first four might be considered "quatour brillants" or concerti for the clarinet but in chamber music form. The final work, the Quartet in D, though still in concertante style makes much better use of the strings, especially the violin. Charming and full of pleasant melodies

Qt 3-1st Movt

Qt 3-2nd Movt

Qt 3-3rd Movt

Qt 3-4th Movt

Qt in D-1st Movt

Qt in D-2d Movt

Qt in D-3d Movt

Qt in D-4th Movt

Gaspar Cassado (1897-1966)

Piano Trio in C Major

CD: Chandos 9834

Reviewed Autumn 2006 

This is a very appealing work in the the Spanish idiom with the exotic perfume of Ravel. Many original & striking effects A real tour d’force.

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

Jean Cras (1879-1932)

Piano Quintet (1922)

String Quartet (1909)

CD: Timpani 1066

Reviewed Summer 2006


Cras, a professional naval officer gave his very appealing Piano Quintet a program. It represents the feelings on board during a voyage. It is hard to categorize the music with its elements of jazz, oriental, Arabic and African influences. A first rate work. The string quartet though written 13 years before is far less accessible and tonally more astringent though by no means atonal.

Pno Qnt-1st Movt

Pno Qnt-2d Movt

Pno Qnt-3d Movt

Pno Qnt-4th Movt

Str Qt-1st Movt

Str Qt-2d Movt

Str Qt-3d Movt

Str Qt-4th Movt

Ignacy Dobrzynski (1807-1867)

String Quintet No.1 (2 Vc) in F, Op.20

String Quintet No.2 (2 Vc) in a, Op.40

CD: Acte Prelude 0048

Reviewed Summer 2006

Although No.1 is dedicated to Onslow, the music seems to show more of the influence of Spohr in its long running passages from instrument to instrument. There are some very pretty melodies in both works and a fetching polacca in the finale to the First. No.2 shows Onslow's influence and makes rather good use of the second cello. Both quintets are quite good although the Second is probably the stronger of the two.

No.1-1st Movt

No.1-2nd Movt

No.1-3rd Movt

No.1-4th Movt

No.2-1st Movt

No.2-2nd Movt

No.2-3rd Movt

No.2-4th Movt

Ernst von Dohnanyi (1877-1960)

Piano Quartet in f# minor (1891)

Hochzeitsmarsch for Piano Quintet (1910)

CD: Hungaroton 32148

Reviewed Spring 2006

Piano Qt is a remarkable work written when he was 14.  Had Brahms heard it, he would have thought himself in the presence of a second Mozart. This work ranks alongside those of the great masters. The Wedding March makes an interesting occasional piece.

Pno Qt-1st Movt

Pno Qt-2nd Movt

Pno Qt-3rd Movt

Pno Qt-Finale


Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)

Prelude, Recitatif & Variations, Op.3 for Flute, Viola & Piano

CD: BIS 1439

Reviewed Autumn 2006

Completely tonal and in the tradition of the French impressionists. It is in one long movement of three distinct sections played without pause  This unusual combination sounds entirely natural Prelude et.al.

Eduard Franck (1817-1893)

String Sextet No.1, Op.40

String Sextet No.2, Op.50

CD: Audite 97.501

Reviewed Summer 2006


Both works show the influence of Mendelssohn, the first more than the second although the finale to the second might well be a tribute to Felix. The first 2 movements of Sextet No.1 show considerably more inspiration than the last two. But Sextet No.2 is a work of the first order from start to finish, tuneful and well-crafted. Recently republished and worthy of concert performance.

Sextet 1-1st Movt

Sextet 1-2d Movt

Sextet 1-3d Movt

Sextet 1-4th Movt

Sextet 2-1st Movt

Sextet 2-2d Movt

Sextet 2-3d Movt

Sextet 2-4th Movt

Enrique Granados (1867-1916)

Piano Trio, Op.50

CD: Chandos 9834

Reviewed Autumn 2006

Combines a French impressionistic sound with what might be called neo-Schubertian melodies of a highly romantic nature. This is a very attractive work.

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

4th Movement

Reinhold Gliere (1875-1956)

String Sextet No.3 in C Major, Op.11

String Octet in D Major, Op.5

CD: MD&G 308 1196

Reviewed Winter 2006

Both works are full of Russian folk melody and attractive rhythmic dances, rich and highly lyrical. Each is a brilliant masterwork. They are full-blooded, at times almost orchestral. Gliere demonstrates his mastery of form, tonal color, mood, and melody. Of their kind, they are unsurpassed.

Sextet-Movt 1

Sextet-Movt 2

Sextet-Movt 3

Sextet-Movt 4

Octet-Movt 1

Octet-Movt 2

Octet-Movt 3

Octet-Movt 4

Alexander Gretchaninov (1864-1956)

String Quartet No.1, Op.2

String Quartet No.2, Op.70

CD: MD&G 603 1157

Reviewed Spring 2006

Both works won prizes but as one contemporary critic put it, “It would be hard to ascribe the two quartets to the same composer.” Qt 1 is very Russian sounding & shows the influence of Rimsky Korsakov. A superb work which would be an ornament in any professional quartet's repertoire but will pose no difficulties for amateurs. Qt 2 is a synthesis of Sergei Taneyev, Scriabin and the French impressionists.

Qt 1-1st Movt

Qt 1-2nd Movt

Qt 1-3rd-Movt

Qt 1-Finale

Qt 2-1st Movt

Qt 2-2nd Movt

Qt 2-3rd Movt

Qt 2-Finale

Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947)

Romanesque for Flute, Viola & Piano

CD: BIS 1439

Reviewed Autumn 2006

Very short one movement piece sounds like the background music for a plot taking place in mediaeval France.


E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822)

Grand Piano Trio

CD: CPO 999 309

Reviewed Spring 2006

Shows the influence of Beethoven’s Op.1 trios, and outside of these, little, if anything, better was being written for piano trio at this time (around 1809).





Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812)

Five Quintets for Winds & Strings (No opus)

3 for Oboe, Violin, 2 Violas & Basson

2 for Oboe, 2 Violas, Bassoon & Horn

CD: Tudor 7124

Reviewed Winter 2006

From a set of 6, these classical era works which Hoffmeister intended as concert works rather than background music as he chose to call them Notturnos rather than Divertimenti.  Tuneful and pleasant, they are comparable to what Mozart wrote in this genre.







Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)

String Quartet No.1, Op.3

String Quartet No.2, Op.50

CD: Centaur 2691

Reviewed Spring 2006


Qt 1 was a prize winning composition . A massive work of extraordinary drama and power showing the influence of Central European writers and perhaps Cesar Franck. It is full of original ideas. A masterpiece. Qt 2 shows the influence of the French Impressionists. The work is by turns heroic, delicate, atmospheric and perfumed.

Qt 1-1st Movt

Qt 1-2nd Movt

Qt 1-3rd Movt

Qt 1-Finale

Qt 2-1st Movt

Qt 2-2nd Movt

Qt 2-Finale

Theodor Kirchner (1823-1903)

Works for Piano Trio including

Bunte Blätter, Op.83,

Serenade in E Major, 

Ein Gedenkbaltt, Op.15,

Zwei Terzette, Op.97

Kleines Trio (1891)

Sechs Stücke in kanonischer Form

CD: Antes 07985

Reviewed Winter 2006

Bunte Blätter are 12 delightful character pieces, each a little gem. The short Serenade in E is very lovely as is Ein Gedenkblatt. The 2 movements from Zwei Terzette are like Schubert's Moments musicaux. The Sechs Stücke are in some ways the most interesting of all. Arrangements of Schumann's works for the pedal piano, they surpass the original composition in excellence by far.

Op.83 No.1

Op.83 No.2

Op.83 No.7

Op.83 No.4


Ein Gedenblatt

Op.97 No.2

6 Stucke No.2

6 Stucke No.5

Alexander Krein (1883-1951)


Jewish Sketches Op.12 for Clarinet & String Quartet

CD: ASD DCA 1154

Reviewed Autumn 2006


The Quatour is distinctly impressionist in style, Scriabin’s influence is clearly present. The eloquent lyrical sections are full of color. The Jewish Sketches introduce Hebraic folk melody into a formal chamber music setting. One hears stereotypical melodies along with a touch of Klezmer music. The combination makes for a very interesting work.


Sketches Movt1

Sketches Movt2

Sketches Movt3

Mihaly Mosonyi (1815-1870)

String Sextet in c (1844)

CD: Hungaroton 32300

Reviewed Summer 2006

Tonally the work shows the influence of Schubert and Beethoven. Possibly the first major 19th cent effort at a string sextet before Brahms. Though no masterpiece it's by no means bad and has many original ideas. Well-worth hearing.

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

4th Movement

Tatiana Nikolayeva (1924-1994)

Trio for Flute, Viola & Piano, Op.18

CD: BIS 1439

Reviewed Autumn 2006

In eight short movements, shows a mastery of technique and understanding of the instruments. Each vignette is like a small delicacy. Entirely tonal, though modern tinged at times with the aura of the neo-baroque and neo-classical.

2nd Movement

4th Movement

5th Movement

7th Movement

8th Movement

George Onslow (1784-1853)

Grand Piano Quintet (Pno, Str Trio & Kb), Op.76

Grand Sextet for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn & Bass, Op.77bis

CD: Centaur 2691

Reviewed Spring 2006

The Piano Quintet in the "Trout" instrumentation  is truly a masterpiece of its kind. In the Sextet Onslow provides another example of how well he could integrate disparate voices to make a seamless whole. This is another very good work and while one might find its equal, you will not find anything better.

Pno Qnt-1st Movt

Pno Qnt-2d Movt

Pno Qnt-3d Movt

Pno Qnt-Finale

Sextet-1st Movt

Sextet-2nd Movt

Sextet-3d Movt


George Onslow (1784-1853)

String Quintet (2 Vc) No.12 in a, Op.34

String Quintet (2 Vc) No.13 in G, Op.35

CD: MD&G 603 1253

Reviewed Summer 2006

No.12 is among Onslow's finest quintets for 2 cellos, in the masterwork category. In turns dramatic, lyrical, and exciting. The slow 3rd movement contains some of the finest writing in the literature. Excellent use is made of the 2nd cello. No.13 is a good work but probably falls short of his best. Both quintets can also be played with a bass in lieu of the second cello.

No.12-1st Movt

No.12-2nd Movt

No.12-3rd Movt

No.12-4th Movt

No.13-1st Movt

No.13-2nd Movt

No.13-3rd Movt

No.13-4th Movt

Andreas Romberg (1767-1821)

Six String Quartets: Op.1 Nos.1-3, Op.2 No.2, Op.16 No.2 & Op.30 No.1

2 CDs: MD&G CD Nos.307 0963 & 307 1026

Reviewed Autumn 2006


With regard to the 1794 Op.1 quartets, the second is probably the strongest. While the part writing and structure of these quartets is fairly good, the thematic material is not as strong as Kozeluch or Pleyel at their best, and not even a match for an average quartet of Krommer or Paul Wranitzky, let alone Haydn. Op.2 No.2 from 1799 is much better than any of the Op.1 and, if not a candidate for the concert hall, would certainly be enjoyed by amateurs. Op.16 No.2 from 1806 breaks no new ground and is pretty ordinary. The 1810 Op.30 No.1 is better and perhaps on a par with what Haydn was writing in 1785.

Op1 No1 Movt1

Op1 No2 Movt1

Op1 No3 Movt3

Op2 No2 Movt1

Op2 No2 Movt3

Op2 No2 Movt4

Op16 No2 Movt1

Op.30 No1 Mov1

Op.30 No1 Mov2

Op.30 No1 Mov4

Max von Schillings (1868-1933)

String Quartet in e minor (1909)

String Quintet (2 Vla) in E flat major, Op.32

CD: CPO 999 608

Reviewed Winter 2006

Schillings was a Wagnerite par excellence. To his credit, his tonalities are more advanced. The quartet, while showing the influence of Wagner, also has affinities with Bruckner, Hugo Wolf & Richard Strauss. The Quintet is more modern sounding yet, at times almost flaunting strident chords but primarily romantic with some French impressionism.









Philipp Schwarenka (1847-1917)

String Quartet No.1, Op.117

String Quartet No.2, Op.120

Piano Quintet, Op.118

CD: MD&G 336 0889

Reviewed Spring 2006

Qt 1 shows the influence of Mendelssohn. It has fine writing, good ideas, all well executed. Perhaps not a masterpiece but a first class work without question. Qt 2, too, is a good work, perhaps, with the exception of the superb slow (3rd) movement, not as inspired or with quite as good material as the First. As for the Piano Qnt, there is good part-writing, much drama and lyrical melody to be found therein. It is a work deserving of concert performance. Again, though not perhaps a masterwork, certainly first class.

Qt 1-1st Movt

Qt 1-2nd Movt

Qt 1-3rd Movt

Qt 1-Finale

Qt 2-1st Movt

Qt 2-2nd Movt

Qt 2-3rd Movt

Qt 2-Finale

Pno Qnt-1st Movt

Pno Qnt-2d Movt

Pno Qnt-Finale

Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)

Piano Quartet No.1 in F, Op.15

Piano Trio No.1, Op.35

CD: ASV 1056

Reviewed Summer 2006


The piano quartet is a very fine work. It is full of wonderful themes, rich scoring and masterful part writing. Stanford was sometimes criticized as being too heavily influenced by Brahms but one does not hear that here. Deserves concert performance. The piano trio, somewhat more advanced tonally, is also a good work freer from German influence than the piano quartet.

Pno Qt-1st Movt

Pno Qt-2d Movt

Pno Qt-3d Movt

Pno Qt-4th Movt

Pno Trio-1st Movt

Pno Trio-2d Movt

Pno Trio-3d Movt

Pno Trio-4th Movt

William Grant Still (1885-1978)

Works for String Quartet including

Lyric Quartet (1960)

Danzas de Panama (1948)

Prince & the Mermaid Suite (1965)

Summerland (1936)

Little Folk Suites (1968)

CD: Koch 3.7546

Reviewed Winter 2006


The Lyric Qt is a mix of French impressionism with American romanticism. The Danzas de Panama are based on a collection of Panamanian folk dances, each dances actually consists of 2 different dances. This is a masterpiece. Prince & Mermaid was music for a play of that name, modern but quite tonal. The Little Folk suites utilized folk music from around the world. Movt2 is a Negro spiritual & Movt3 a Creole folk music.

Lyric Qt-Movt1

Lyric Qt Movt3







Folk Ste-Movt2

Folk Ste-Movt3

Joaquin Turina (1882-1949)

Piano Trio No.2 in b, Op.76

CD: Chandos 9834

Reviewed Autumn 2006

Highly romantic themes with Andalusian melodies, very subtly presented. Although romantic in conception, at the same time, it is very modern-sounding.

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

Joaquin Turina (1882-1949)

Circulo for Piano Trio, Op.91

CD: Chandos 9834

Reviewed Autumn 2006

In three short movements, each with the subtitles: Dawn, Midday and Dusk. Though slight, Circulo is an ethereal and intellectual work of considerable charm

1st Movement

2nd Movement

Mieczyslaw Vainberg (1919-1996)

Trio for for Flute, Viola & Piano, Op.127

CD: BIS 1439

Reviewed Autumn 2006

The trio is tonal and in what might be called a post-Shostakovich language. It would not be accurate to speak of themes so much as tonal episodes. One almost might think of the experimental effects some composers were looking at in the 1950’s except for the recurrence of certain patterns.

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

Mieczyslaw Vainberg (1919-1996)

String Quartet No.7 in C, Op.59

String Quartet No.8 in c, Op.66

String Quartet No.9 in f#, Op.80

CD: Olympic 686

Reviewed Autumn 2006

Qt. No.7 begins with and for the most part keeps a mood of depression and of being downtrodden. The musical language is clearly related to late Shostakovich but is perhaps a little more astringent tonally. Qt. No.8 though titularly in one movement, there are four distinct sections. The mood here is mostly overcast with outbursts of anger. It ends on a note of defeat. Qt. No.9 often has an orchestral quality. It is filled with anger and angst. Again the mood conveys a defeated sadness. Although grim and unrelenting, these are important modern works.

Qt7 1st Movement

Qt7 2d Movement

Qt7 3d Movement

Quartet 8

Qt9 1st Movement

Qt9 2d Movement

Qt9 3d Movement

Qt9 4th Movt.

Johann Baptist Vanhal (1739-1813)

Six String Quartets: Op.1 No.3, Op.2 No.3, Op.6 No.1, Op.6 No.5, Op.6 No.6, and Op.13 No.1

CD: Multisonic 31 0583 

Reviewed Autumn 2006

These quartets are fairly advanced for their time. (1769-71) They show the influence of the Mannheim school and are not written in a concertante style. The four parts are generally treated equally but the music could just as easily have been written for string orchestra. The melodic material is adequate. Although the themes are not dull, they do not have a particularly original stamp to them.

Op.1 #3 1st Movt

Op.2 #3 3d Movt

Op.6 #1 2d Movt

Op.6 #2 1st Movt

Op.6#6 1st Movt

Op.6 #6 2d Movt

Op.13#1 1st Movt

Op.13#1 2d Movt


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