, August 2001
"Brahms' autumnal Clarinet Quintet Op. 115, and the last of his string quartets, the B-flat major Op. 67, form a pleasing coupling. Although there are good recordings of both in the catalog, this newcomer is a useful, well-engineered budget contender. Clarinetist Boris Rener joins the Quatuor Ludwig for the quintet, and together they make most of the right interpretive decisions. Among these is the ensemble's considerable attention to the important dynamic layerings of the score, something you'll hear to advantage in the second movement, which brings some nicely calculated hand-overs between the strings (especially second violin and cello) in the cross-rhythm accompanimental exchanges. The scherzo begins with a slower section marked Andantino, and here there are effective and touching contrasts of mood and idiom, again obviously well rehearsed by this team...if you want this coupling at minimal cost, Rener and the Ludwigs should fit the bill, and the recording itself is more than acceptable."