The Schubert String Quintet Op. 163 is a work that has long been at the top of my chamber music favorites. It has such a folk-like quality yet it is emblazoned by the melodic-harmonic compositional-developmental hand of the master. Every movement has its own distinctive character mixed with commanding presence, and there is an idyllic, quasi-pastoral character to it, at least to my ears. I never tire of it.
The Arcanto Quartet and additional cellist Olivier Marron have made a rather ravishing recording of the work (Harmonia Mundi) which was released yesterday. I am enthralled with it.
Such a crisp, stately, passionate yet musically insightful rendering I have not heard in previous versions. Plus the audio is very natural yet vibrant.
All Schubert lovers, you must hear this. I am thankful to have it!