Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * Zemlinsky: Brahms Clarinet Quintet Zemlinsky Trio, Op 3

Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * Zemlinsky: Brahms Clarinet Quintet Zemlinsky Trio, Op 3

Article excerpt

Brahms * Zemlinsky

Brahms Clarinet Quintet (a) Zemlinsky Trio, Op 3 (b)

Emma Johnson cl (b) Frans Helmerson vc

(b) John Lenehan cl Michelangelo Quartet

Nimbus Alliance (F) NI6310 (67' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Brahms Quintet treats the clarinet as a member of a five-part ensemble rather than as a lone voice set apart from the string quartet. In this finely balanced performance one is particularly conscious of this; Emma Johnson, when her part is a subsidiary one, blends in easily with the strings, adding a liquid tone to the texture. This is not to say that she doesn't strongly project and characterise the more soloistic episodes, but the whole account is notable for its feeling of intimate discourse. It's a performance, too, with a fine sense of momentum, a feeling for the longer paragraphs and for each phrase's place in the whole scheme. In this respect it contrasts with the recent recording by Andreas Ottensamer and a quartet led by Leonidas Kavakos, which has a rather more extravagant style and concentrates more on bringing out each expressive detail. …

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