About the album
As with so much in Brahms' life, the genesis of his Piano Quintet, op.34, was fraught with indecision and introspection... Brahms first wrote this work scored for string quintet, and after taking to heart criticism from Joachim, he not only re-scored the work for two pianos, but destroyed the original string quintet manuscript. Published in 1874, this new version was not without problems, and it was Clara Schumann who pointed these out, causing Brahms to set about re-arranging the music once more, this time for piano quintet.
This was no simple re-scoring, for the piano quintet medium has unique demands, but, at last, Brahms had found the medium through which his material could speak most eloquently. It is the quintet in this final guise that we know it best, and that the Schubert Ensemble deliver here on this recording in an assured and expressive performance, allowing the sophisticated detail of Brahms' writing to throw us into the depths of emotion he conjures up.