Elgar String Quartet Op 83. Piano Quintet Op 84

Accolades all round for this generous programme from Lane and the Goldners

Author: 
Andrew Achenbach

Elgar String Quartet Op 83. Piano Quintet Op 84

  • String Quartet
  • Mina
  • Laura Valse
  • March
  • Impromptu
  • Quintet for Piano and Strings

No beating about the bush: the Goldners give the most sublimely articulate and raptly communicative reading of Elgar’s elusive String Quartet that it’s been my privilege to encounter. It’s not just their fabulous technical address and scrupulous adherence to the text that are so impressive (all achieved, I should add, without a whiff of self-conscious display), but the recreative ardour, tumbling fantasy and sinewy strength they bring to this marvellous score make it seem as though the ink is barely dry on the manuscript, as well as making you appreciate afresh the supreme mastery of the composer’s part-writing. Certainly, it’s hard to conceive the fragrant Piacevole centrepiece enjoying more pliable or wistfully poetic treatment than here.

The performance of the epic Piano Quintet evinces a comparable generosity of spirit, very real sense of teamwork and flawless discipline. Piers Lane’s own earlier account with the youthful Vellinger Quartet (CfP, 9/95R) remains a notable achievement but this thrillingly dedicated new version conveys even more of the music’s far-flung ambition, subtle motivic interplay, arresting drama and spooky undertow (Elgar’s imagination had been sparked by a colourful local myth that a clump of dead trees near his West Sussex cottage were the twisted forms of Spanish monks struck by lightning while engaging in pagan rites).

Sandwiched between the two main offerings come four piano miniatures, the haunting, dream-like waltz Mina from 1932‑33 (named after Elgar’s pet Cairn Terrier) being the pick of the bunch.
Ben Connellan’s Potton Hall sound and balance are beyond reproach; Diana McVeagh contributes a scholarly and highly illuminating booklet essay. This is, quite simply, a superlative CD.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2018