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Penguin Guide, January 2009

These three immediately attractive chamber works are a splendid way of experiencing and enjoying the calibre of Carpenter’s music. The early Violin Sonata (1913) is a delightfully spontaneous piece, sweetly lyrical but by no means slight, with striking ideas throughout all four traditional movements. The String Quartet of 1927 is altogether more nostalgic and chromatically searching; the Adagio is poignantly expressive, the finale, with its off-beat rhythm, more folksy, but still comparatively restrained in feeling. The Piano Quintet of a decade later is more extrovert, the first movement cheerfully animated, but with a tranquil underlay, the Adagio much more ruminatively intense, the finale syncopated and characterfully energetic. First-class performances and fine recording make this a very enjoyable programme indeed—and one to return to.

Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone, August 2003

"The prize of this programme [sic] is surely the Piano Quintet (1937) exhibits a unique voice. Carpenter's ideas are strong and memorable, and they are developed with wit as well as skill...The elegiac ardour of the slow movement is touching, and the folksy flavor and clean textures of the finale cannot quite conceal a darker character lurking beneath the surface...the performances are excellent !V particularly the agile, well-blended playing of the Vega Quartet. Very strongly recommended."

Jesús Vega
El Nuevo Herald, April 2003

"El compositor estadounidense John Alden Carpenter no es desconocido en nuestras páginas, pues incluso, más de medio siglo después de su muerte, su discográfica se extiende y, como ocurre con las obras de arte verdadero, cobran vida propia. Ese es el caso de las tres obras que componen este registro, creadas en períodos diversos de la carrera de Carpenter... Ejecutan: al piano, Paul Posnak, y Sergio Schwart en el violín, con el acompañamiento del ensemble Vega Quartet."

Roderic Dunnett
The Strad, April 2003

"The Naxos recording is forthright, resonant and startlingly well up to the impressively big movement of the 1912 Sonata. Carpenter, who on the basis of this movement alone should be a great name, proves capable of building a beautifully judged structure that coheres, offers a grand vision and maintains its power without flagging. Sergiu Schwartz and Paul Posnak are such engaging performers and play so well together that one is simply bowled over...The ensuing, Debussy-informed Quartet (1927) is terrific. The first two movements are lovingly played and the finale, a kind of buggy ride with shades of Prokofiev, is thrilling. The Piano Quintet's lovely Andante, with its bewitching canonic opening starts splendidly; from their unisons alone you hear the quality of the spirited, prizewinning Vega Quartet. Their vivid, percussive finale caps this really enjoyable find."

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