Brahms – Piano quintet


Maybe it was me, maybe it was the situation. When I saw this record in the list I was thinking ‘ah, great, I like that recording’. It was a bit disappointing. It just didn’t touch me in any way. I suppose some days that can just happen, the music just doesn’t hit the spot.

The piano quintet in F minor was witten in the Summer of 1834. It is written for a traditional string quartet and a piano, so two violins, a viola and a cello. Earlier piano quintets were written for one violin and instead added a double bass. Mozart and Boccherini wrote them like that. I don’t think I have those in my collection. What I do have is one of the more famous ones: the Trout quintet by Schubert, written in 1819.

After Schumanns piano quintet in 1842 the fashion changed, and the old style just disappeared. This might have something to do with the way the string quartet was regarded. By the second half of the nineteenth century it came to be considered the very height of compositional skill to create one. So it made sense to add a piano to that.

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