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James Jolly
Gramophone, April 2014

THE SPECIALIST’S GUIDE TO…Works for piano left hand: # 3

Chamber music that requires a one-armed pianist is…rather rare. Franz Schmidt wrote a number of works for Wittgenstein, including two fine clarinet quintets. This one, his second, is a substantial creation that’s about an hour long. It is mellow, in a late Brahmsian language. Interestingly, the brief Intermezzo is for piano solo. © 2014 Gramophone

Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Quintet in A major for Clarinet, Piano and Strings is unusual: it begins like some mysterious other-worldly scherzo which immediately introduces a pastoral idea of beguiling charm. The second movement is a piano piece in ternary form there is a longish Scherzo, full of fantasy and wit, and there is an affecting trio, tinged with the melancholy of late Brahms. The fourth movement sets out as if it, too, is going to be a long, meditative piano piece, but its nobility and depth almost put one in mind of the Elgar Quintet. The fifth is a set of variations on a theme of Josef Labor, and is sometimes played on its own. The recording has freshness and bloom, though it could benefit from a bigger recording venue. This is a glorious work.

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