Artis Ensemble Stuttgart - Piano Quartets by Paul Juon & Antonín Dvorák

Artis Ensemble Stuttgart - Piano Quartets by Paul Juon & Antonín Dvorák
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Chamber Music
Piano Quartets by Paul Juon & Antonín Dvorák

The first piano quartets of Paul Juon and Antonin Dvorák (each composer wrote two in this genre) share the unfortunate distinction of being relatively unknown works. In the case of Juon, this obstacle holds regrettably true for most of his works; Juon's compositions are just now starting to be appreciated. For Dvorák, the immense success and popularity of his Second Piano Quartet in E flat major has greatly overshadowed his earlier effort. Still, both of these works are quality compositions and deserving of attention and strong performances. Given the rather impressive educational pedigrees of the members of the Artis Piano Quartet, such a performance would seem to be a given. However, this album proves to be a prime example of why putting a group of accomplished musicians together in an ensemble does not automatically yield good chamber music. The most immediately noticeable and pervasive problem on this disc is intonation; the three string players simply have an impossible time playing in tune with one another, and the higher the tessitura, the more painful listening becomes. Individual string solos, such as the beginning statements in both quartets, are generally more acceptable and seem relatively in tune against the piano. But the instant the strings must play together, the entire performance is untenable and the entire album is one to pass up.

Rhapsody for piano quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 37
ModeratoArtis Ensemble Stuttgart9:11 Amazon
AllegrettoArtis Ensemble Stuttgart5:22 Amazon
SostenutoArtis Ensemble Stuttgart13:01 Amazon
Piano Quartet No. 1 in D major, B. 53 (Op. 23)
Allegro moderatoArtis Ensemble Stuttgart14:14
Andantino con variazioniArtis Ensemble Stuttgart1:39 Amazon
Variation 1Artis Ensemble Stuttgart1:08 Amazon
Variation 2Artis Ensemble Stuttgart1:50 Amazon
Variation 3Artis Ensemble Stuttgart1:18
Variation 4Artis Ensemble Stuttgart1:40 Amazon
Variation 5Artis Ensemble Stuttgart3:09 Amazon
Finale. Allegretto scherzandoArtis Ensemble Stuttgart7:08 Amazon

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