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Paul L Althouse
American Record Guide, July 2017

It was only a few months ago that I reviewed these players in the other two Brahms piano quartets. I found their playing “rich and expressive, unmannered and technically secure”. Here it is no less impressive. Tempos in the Brahms are in the normal range, slow enough to allow details to register, quick enough to move along what is already a long piece.

As I said of the earlier release, “a fine job all around.” © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, July 2017

Performances of both works here are very well done. There’s less competition in the Mahler, of course, than there is in the Brahms, but if the pairing of these two works appeals to you, the playing and recording are equal to the best I’ve heard and, at Naxos’s price, an attractive buy to boot. Recommended. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Richard A. Kaplan
Fanfare, July 2017

There’s not much one needs to say about these fine performances. Tempos and balances are excellent, Nebolsin plays sensitively and with style—I find his reading of the opening bars of the Brahms slightly mannered, but he is otherwise beyond reproach—and the exposition repeat is observed. The difficult octaves between violin and piano in the last movement’s coda are perfectly in tune. Mahler’s ardent early Piano Quartet is a nice pendant. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Jerobear
Review Corner, March 2017

The playing is first rate: Eldar Nebolsin, piano; Anton Barakhovsky, violin; Alexander Zemtsov, viola; Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, cello. © 2017 Review Corner Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, March 2017

Barakhovsky. Zemtsov. Schmidt. Nebolsin. This is the very same foursome whose fine recording of Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 25, I reviewed with much pleasure in last month’s Classical Reviews. As in the earlier release, their excellent rapport and their delight in new discoveries proved to be vital qualities here, as Brahms’ Second Piano Quartet proves even more problematical, and more prone to meanderings filled with pleasant hazards, than had the First. For its interpreters, the rewards are also proportionately great. © 2017 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2017

‘Naxos has struck pure gold, and I hope the foursome will add the Second Quartet,’ I wrote when reviewing the first disc release of the Johannes Brahms Piano Quartets. Almost as well known as a pianist as he was in the world of composition, his chamber music involving the keyboard had the tendency of giving it pride of place. That is certainly true of the three piano quartets, all composed at much the same time in the 1860, the Second—my particular favourite—possessing a strength in the opening movement that carries the weight of a symphonic score, the whole work lasting not far short of fifty minutes. There is an underlaying feel of sadness in the second movement that evaporates in the vivacity of the scherzo, while the finale has a feeling of Hungarian verve. The Piano Quartet from the sixteen-year-old Gustav Mahler comes from the same era, and may well have been intended for a much longer work, though only this one movement exists. You can hear the symphonies that were to come, though Brahms is the precursor of a work that here makes an ideal coupling. The performances come from a quartet formed from top soloists in their own right—the pianist, Eldar Nebolsin, joined by the violin, viola and cello of Anton Barakhovsky, Alexander Zemtsov and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, and, repeating my earlier review, ‘they have the feel of a group who have become welded together by years of mutual performances.’ Throughout, the string intonation is unblemished, and I just beg Naxos to make a whole raft of recordings with them. Very good sound and excellent programme notes complete a fervently recommended release. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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