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We follow up on Eldar Nebolsin's November release of Brahms' Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 3 with this month's recording of the Second Piano Quartet, featuring the same performers.

“Playing chamber music is always something very special to me, but playing and recording these Brahms quartets is the closest one can get to pure musical ecstasy.”

- Eldar Nebolsin

BRAHMS, J.: Piano Quartet No. 2 / MAHLER, G.: Piano Quartet
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Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897)
Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26
Gustav Mahler (1860–1911)
Piano Quartet in A minor

Eldar Nebolsin, Piano
Anton Barakhovsky, Violin
Alexander Zemtsov, Viola
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Cello

After a period as a court composer at Detmold, Brahms returned to the city of his birth, Hamburg, in January 1860. Here, in relative tranquillity, he explored the then rare piano quartet repertoire. The Piano Quartet No. 2 received a very sympathetic hearing in Vienna, Clara Schumann even preferring it to its immediate predecessor, the Piano Quartet, Op. 25 [Naxos 8.572798]. Its lyricism is heightened by a romantically beautiful Adagio. Mahler’s vibrant Piano Quartet in A minor dates from 1876, the end of his first year at the Vienna Conservatory, where the only completed movement was first performed.

Listen to an extract from Piano Quartet No. 2:
IV. Finale: Allegro

BRAHMS, J.: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 3
Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897)
Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 3

Eldar Nebolsin, Piano
Anton Barakhovsky, Violin
Alexander Zemtsov, Viola
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Cello

Johannes Brahms is considered Beethoven’s successor in terms of his orchestral output, but for chamber music it was more the Romantic mantle of Robert Schumann that he assumed, vastly expanding its scale and ambitions in the 19th century and remaining a towering influence until well into the 20th. The First Piano Quartet has a deeply felt Andante con moto at its heart, and a sprightly ‘Gypsy Rondo’ finale. Brahms started writing the Third Piano Quartet during the difficult period of Schumann’s final illness, later re-composing it to create a work of symphonic proportions, distinctive power and striking beauty.

Listen to an extract from Piano Quartet No. 3:
II. Scherzo: Allegro

A Naxos 30th anniversary greeting from Eldar Nebolsin
About the Artists
Eldar Nebolsin
Eldar Nebolsin enjoys a busy international career as a soloist, recitalist and chamber music player, appearing with conductors, orchestras and colleagues of international distinction. In 2005 he was unanimously awarded the Sviatoslav Richter Prize in the First International Piano Competition in Moscow, where he was also honoured with the special award for The Best Classical Concerto Performance.
Anton Barakhovsky
Anton Barakhovsky is first concertmaster of the Bayerische Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra. His chamber music partners include Leon Fleisher, Maurizio Pollini, Sabine Meyer, Kolja Blacher, Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, Wolfram Christ and Natalia Gutman.
Alexander Zemtsov
Alexander Zemtsov was principal viola of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002 to 2011. He has appeared as soloist with numerous renowned orchestras in Europe, USA, Asia and Australia. He regularly performs as soloist with distinguished conductors, including Alexander Vedernikov, Vladimir Jurowski and Neeme Järvi.
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt is a prize-winner of many international competitions, including the International Rostropovich Competition, Paris and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He is the founder and music director of the Chamber Orchestra Metamorphosen Berlin, alongside violinist Indira Koch.
Other recordings featuring Eldar Nebolsin
Piano Concerto No. 1
Fantasia on Polish Airs

Nebolsin • Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra • Wit
“Nebolsin…proves himself a scintillating and persuasive Chopinist, alive to every detail.”
  Listen to an extract from Chopin's Piano Concerto
No. 1:
II. Romanza: Larghetto
Piano Concerto No. 2
Varations on “Là ci darem la mano”
Andante spianato and Grande
Polonaise brillante

Nebolsin • Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra • Wit
“Nebolsin carries all before him with sparkling,
life-enhancing playing.”
Classic FM ★★★★
  Listen to an extract from Chopin's Variations on
La ci darem from Mozart's Don Giovanni:
Variation 1: Brillante
Piano Concerto No. 2
Concert Fantasia

Nebolsin • New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
“This CD is a real winner, not just for Nebolsin’s playing, but because of the addition of the totally overlooked Concert Fantasia.”
Classic FM
  Listen to an extract from Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2:
III. Allegro con fuoco
Variations on a Nursery Song
Symphonic Minutes
Suite, Op. 19

Nebolsin • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
“Eldar Nebolsin offers an interpretation that is perfect in style and colour.”
  Listen to an extract from Dohnányi's Variations on a Nursery Song:
Variation 5: Piu mosso

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