Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Brahms Clarinet Quartet, String Quartet No. 2, Jerusalem Quartet, Sharon Kam

Brahms in a way was like Bach. Both worked within pre-existing stylistic forms to create perfected musical expressions that were not as much cutting-edge as they were sublime. So Brahms took the romantic model set out most explicitly by Beethoven, later Schubert and Schumann and created exceptional music within its confines.

We can hear this to excellent effect in two extraordinarily fine chamber works, the Clarinet Quartet and the String Quartet No. 2. Clarinetist Sharon Kam and the Jerusalem Quartet have newly recorded the two works as part of a CD on Harmonia Mundi (HMC902152). The results are lyric without being flaccid, muscular more than sentimental. There is passion but there is structural power as well.

Both works are indeed sublime and Kam melds with the quartet for a very flowing Quintet. The Second Quartet too has extraordinary expressive flow.

These are versions to live with hearing-after-hearing; they never seem in any way rote or overwrought and familiarity increases the impression. Highly recommended!

No comments:

Post a Comment