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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2016

Splendid playing, marked by perfect intonation, ensemble balance, and tonal warmth, conjoined with emotional engagement, interpretive intelligence, and superior recording, add up to a very strong recommendation for this release. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




Donald R Vroon
American Record Guide, January 2016

ARENSKY, A.: Chamber Music - Piano Quintet / String Quartet No. 2 / Piano Trio No. 1 (Spectrum Concerts Berlin) 8.573317
ARENSKY, A.S.: Piano Quintet / Pieces for Violin and Piano, Cello and Piano (Moscow Rachmaninov Trio, Lundstrem, Gofman) TUDOR7179

I liked the Tudor recording, which I listened to first. But the Naxos is much better. There is more joy, more ecstasy, more elan, more tension, more shape to the phrases—and slightly better sound. There is not much difference in tempos, but the buoyancy of the players on Naxos (Russian, despite the Berlin home base) makes the music much more winsome. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, December 2015

Probably now the one Arensky CD everyone must own, a treasury of some of the best-ever Russian Romantic chamber music. (That string quartet with two cellos—the only thing more gorgeous is the Borodin quartet.) And these are defining performances by a starry cast of Russian soloists. © 2015 MusicWeb International



Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, November 2015

This is a live recording but I could detect no extraneous noise and any audience applause has been removed. The excellence of this album makes it a match for any release of Russian chamber music I have heard for some time. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Daniel Jaffé
BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

Piano Trio No. 1, the best known of these works, is given a pleasant performance. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2015

A conspicuously gifted child composing at the age of nine, Arensky’s dissolute lifestyle leaving precious few completed works on his death at the age of forty-five. The three pieces on this disc do have an occasional airing in the concert hall, and at that point you always find an enthusiastic audience, for their generally sunny atmosphere and pleasing melodic invention make a welcome change from that generation of Russian composers steeped in melancholy. Just turn to the third track, the scherzo of the Piano Quintet and be bewitched by his exuberant and wonderfully happy score. The Second Quartet and First Piano Trio came six years earlier, and are less free in structure and with the feeling that he wanted to be accepted as a composer of the standing of Borodin and Glazunov. That he certainly achieved, for both works are beautifully crafted, and in the second movement of the String Quartet he produces an exquisite series of variations. Looking to create another work of substance, he scored the Piano Trio in such a way that it belies the fact that few people are involved, very often using the strings to weave a web of sound around the piano’s anchor role. It is in the first movement that he produced one of his most sumptuous melodies, while the following scherzo contains a tricky tune that will swim around your memory for days. The playing, from the star-studded Spectrum Concerts Berlin, is technically immaculate, and where a few liberties have been taken in shaping long-flowing phrases, they are tasteful and in keeping with the Russian Romantic era. Maybe wrong to pick out one member, but the agile fingers of the pianist, Eldar Nebolsin, have charmed my ears in pages of music that are black with notes. Very good sound, and a fabulous release. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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