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See latest reviews of other albums..., December 2014

The performance [of the Quintet] here is a strong one: there is some sense that the quartet members defer to Biret, but never unduly so, with the balance among the players generally finely honed and nicely cooperative. The quintet is coupled with Biret’s highly impressive performance of the Symphonic Etudes…[she] handles these with apparent effortlessness, whether Schumann is looking for extended arpeggios, lightly traced passages, delicate triplet figures, counterpoint, expansiveness or sheer speed—these and more are the building blocks here, and Biret uses them to construct a highly impressive edifice of sound, technique and musicianship. © 2014 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2014

Setting the mood from the opening bars of the Piano Quintet, Idil Biret’s view points to a lyric beauty that avoids overstating the strength of Schumann’s psyche. How welcome to hear that short but glorious solo cello passage in the opening movement that resists the temptation of creating a mini concerto, while the separated chords that create the slow march, that Schumann’s requested in the heading to the slow movement, is just that. The wonderfully fruity viola tone, that sets out the well-paced counter melody, brings to the Borusan Quartet its very personal quality. Biret, who has to this point been happy to play an accompanying role, launches a very fast scherzo, full of a vivacity that gets very excitable. The finale is also sprightly, with strands of melody perfectly delineated in the quasi-fugal conclusion. Likewise her approach to the Symphonic Etudes is in a cantabile mood that stems from the influence of Wilhelm Kempff on the young Biret. Where others have strived to create a unity throughout the work, Biret chooses to point the wide mood swings of the young Schumann, the Fifth bringing a moment of high drama, while the Seventh and final variation is a moment of apparent resignation. The so-called ‘supplementary variations’ discovered after his death, are given a potency that is often lacking in other recordings. Very realistic piano sound from 2014 sessions. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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