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John Whitmore
MusicWeb International, November 2013

The Fine Arts Quartet offers an all-Schumann disc, a generous playing time and excellent performances throughout.

This latest is fully up to scratch in terms of musicianship and recording quality. For Schumann lovers the couplings will clinch the deal. This is a really excellent release. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



John David Moore
American Record Guide, January 2013

[A] sophisticated and perceptive reading, largely because of the artistry of the Fine Arts Quartet, whose attentive, nuanced playing sets the performance apart from so many merely adequate readings…It is [that] artistry that generates vibrant readings of all these Schumann works. The performances reveal the huge variety of musical expression in these works, the shifts in character, the often surprising interplay of parts, and the wealth of instrumental color. © American Record Guide



David Threasher
Gramophone, December 2012

This is a suitably vivacious performance, well balanced and deeply considered…the contribution of the Fine Arts is suitably sweet and supportive.

For a recommendation in Schumann’s two piano-chamber works of 1842, Wang/Fine Arts is eminently worthwhile and occasionally far more than that. This music thrives in performances of individuality and character… © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Infodad.com, October 2012

Märchenerzählungen…is a dark-hued but energetic work. It exists in two versions, one including viola and clarinet and the other using viola and violin. It is the latter version that is performed by Xiayin Wang and members of the Fine Arts Quartet in a reading of considerable warmth that emphasizes the music’s generally upbeat character…in September 1842, Schumann composed his Piano Quintet, which also gets a bracing and pleasant performance here. Only a month after writing the quintet, Schumann produced his Piano Quartet, and again the performance here is very well-balanced and sensitive to the nuances of a work whose slow movement, Andante cantabile, is especially affecting, opening with a gorgeous cello theme. The sensitive performances on this Naxos CD are all well-proportioned and a pleasure to hear. © 2012 Infodad.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2012

After the lengthy legal battle with her father, Robert Schumann married Clara Wieck, though things were not to work out as expected. The insecure young man found it difficult to see his young wife leave for extended tours as a major concert pianist, and it was the pleasure of her return after a month spent in Copenhagen in 1841 that stimulated a group of chamber works involving the piano and including the Quintet and Quartet. Though he could never quite vanquish his dual personality, both scores exude happiness, and it was that element that I looked for when reviewing all the available performances of the Quintet a few years back. It must have strings that sing with joy, the cello entrusted with that long flowing melody in the quintet’s opening movement, and the viola in the second movement, with further solo opportunities passing around the quintet. The Quartet is more introverted, particularly in the first movement, though the scherzo returns to the bubbling pleasure that leads to the creamy melody of the Andante cantabile. The Marchenerzahlungen dates from twelve years later when he had began periods of mental instability, though it’s four short movements were in a light-hearted mood. Here we hear it in a version where the violin replaces the clarinet in a trio completed by viola and piano. I have much enjoyed the Fine Arts Quartet’s discs with the pianist, Cristina Ortiz, who sparked that little extra from them. Here they combine with the outstanding Chinese-American, Xiayin Wang…They perform with warmth, relishing the long flowing passages… © 2012 David’s Review Corner






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12:39:22 AM, 29 December 2014
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