Piano Quartet No. 1 on two pianos is similar in configuration to that of the Sonata in F minor Op.34b (aka Piano Quintet), that is one piano being allocated the original piano part (the lucky fellow!) and the other representing combined strings. This is highly enjoyable music—whether in the original version or in Schoenberg’s overblown orchestration—so it sounds good on two pianos as well…the German duo of Matthies and Köhn are to be commended for their diligence and musicality in these performances (and the entire Brahms cycle thus far)…The duo plays it with much panache and relish…
Paul Driver , June 2004
It is magical to rediscover in this way the portmanteau central movement (slow movement and scherzo combined) of the quintet; and while the gently unfolding melody of the quartet’s andante may sound newly domestic, it is nonetheless (perhaps all the more) heart-stopping.