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Blair Sanderson, July 2010

The Fine Arts Quartet and violist Gil Sharon have recorded fully sympathetic and technically exquisite performances, and their reading of the string quintet is clearly the most engaging and revelatory of this disc. Naxos provides warm and resonant sound, with reasonably close microphone placement.

David Hurwitz, March 2010

Bruckner’s Quintet is an odd piece, even for this composer. The Adagio of course is beautiful, and it sounds especially lovely in this tender, flowing performance…wholly recommendable…The early (1862) String Quartet in C minor is…very well played here; but the Intermezzo (a substitute movement for the Quintet) is lovely, and the Rondo in C minor (for quartet) fills out the disc to bring the playing time up to 79-plus minutes. Self-recommending for Bruckner fans or chamber music lovers looking to fill a gap in their collections.

John P McKelvey
American Record Guide, July 2009

This recent Naxos release has a lot going for it…the Fine Arts Quartet (plus the just as talented Mr Sharon) is splendid in ensemble and rich and smooth in tone. It is in these respects surely at the top of the list of currently available recordings of the music. It is clean as a whistle, smooth as cream, split-second accurate in execution…The recording presents also a four-minute Intermezzo, which may have been designed as an extension of the finale of the quintet. Also at the end of the program, we are offered a six minute Rondo, which is clearly a slightly longer substitute for the rondo finale of the quartet.

Michael Cameron
Fanfare, May 2009

I haven’t heard many of the dozen or so recordings of the Quintet, but you’re unlikely to find one much better than this finely executed and clearly recorded disc; doubly so for the far rarer Quartet. The Fine Arts Quartet gives a warmly expressive and carefully calibrated reading. Read full review

Atlanta Audio Society, February 2009

You may be surprised to know that [Bruckner] wrote chamber music, too…And it’s all on the present CD offering by the Fine Arts Quartet, a revered musical organization that has been in existence (with changes of personnel) for more than 50 years…Warm, affectionate playing by the members of the Fine Arts allows us to experience the Mendelssohn-like melodies that predominate in [Bruckner’s] String Quartet in C Minor]…[In the] String Quintet in F Major…the Fine Arts Quartet…is joined on second viola by Gil Sharon. It is a happy union of forces, bringing out the rich harmonies throughout the work as well as the surging waves of increasing dynamics that end both the opening and closing movements on a note of real affirmation…How the Fine Arts and Sharon enjoy the expansive theme of the opening movement and the subtle variants Bruckner introduces on it! Full review

Robert R. Reilly, January 2009

Faithful readers may recall my high praise for the Fine Arts Quartet in a performance of Schumann quartets on Naxos last year. Naxos now gives us the Fine Arts Quartet doing the Bruckner String Quintet, accompanied by his early String Quartet (8.570788). The Quintet is one of the great chamber works of the late 19th century, famous for its sublime adagio. The Fine Arts Quartet gives it a spacious reading of three-quarters of an hour that fully reveals its glories in a grateful acoustic. If you love chamber music and have not heard this masterpiece, this is a great introduction. Full review, January 2009

The Fine Arts Quartet, with Gil Sharon added in the Quintet in F, plays all this music with warmth, style and great emotional intensity: a palpable sense of joy emerging from the Quintet’s slow movement is perhaps the highlight of an altogether excellent CD. Full review

S.J. Bonsor, December 2008

Rare Chamber works revealed as gems...The Fine Arts Quartet (with Gil Sharon as the second viola in the quintet), give luscious and compelling performances of this all-too-rare repertoire. The recording is exemplary, and the CD can be warmly recommended to Brucknerians and chamber music enthusiasts alike.

S.J. Bonsor, December 2008

The Fine Arts Quartet gives a grandly inspired treatment to Bruckner's great F-major Quintet--(something akin to Thielemann's recent treatment of the Symphony No. 5)...Recordings of Bruckner's Quintet are now thankfully plentiful; but for price, sound, and performance, Naxos' issue here is definitely a bargain." Full review

Meppo, Customer Review, December 2008

Great performance…They really understand Bruckner as a symphonist…I have a lot of references like Raphael Ensemble and Raphael Quartet, Amadeus, Archibudelli, Leipzig, and Kocian, but this one is one of the best and very complete with the Quartet and Rondo and Intermezzo. At such a price, a real gem, a must for Brucknerites. Full review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2008

The Fine Arts Quartet, with Gil Sharon as second viola, produce a richly blended tone in keeping with the Quintet’s structure, while taking a more restrained approach to the Quartet. Almost 80 minutes of music, the French recording perfectly weighted between instruments.

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