Magazine article Gramophone

Pleyel: 'Hidden Gems, Vol 1'

Magazine article Gramophone

Pleyel: 'Hidden Gems, Vol 1'

Article excerpt

Pleyel

'Hidden Gems, Vol 1'

String Quartets--Ben359; Ben360; Ben361

Ignaz Pleyel Quartet

Ars Produktion [F] [SACD] ARS38166 (53' * DDD/DSD)

This bodes well: 'Hidden Gems, Vol 1'. Ignazjoseph Pleyel is a name more remembered for his piano firm than for his compositions, but that--as with so many also-rans in musical history--is not entirely just. Born a year after Mozart and dying four years after Beethoven, he studied with Vanhal and then Haydn, who regarded him as his finest student. In his own lifetime Pleyel enjoyed wild popularity, especially for his string quartets, and it's not difficult to hear why: charm may be looked upon dubiously these days but these pieces burrow their way into your affection in a most beguiling manner. He learnt much from Haydn--not least in the equality between the instruments and a taste for unexpected harmonic escapades.

The three quartets here, all premiere recordings, date from 1792 and are cast in three movements. …

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