Monday, January 17, 2011

Awards 2010: Chamber

"Salzburg" - music for 2 pianos by Brahms, Rachmaninov, Schubert & Ravel
Martha Argerich; Nelson Freire

Superlatives abound! Fanfare's Patrick Rucker: "splendid... commanding... exquisite... luxurious... kaleidoscopic... dynamic, extroverted, and occasionally explosive". He concludes with "Music-making by two pianists simply doesn't get better than this". American Record Guide's James Harrington calls it "a must have for music lovers everywhere", while for Jed Distler on Classics Today "This release defines piano heaven on earth". You need further persuading? Nigel Simeone in International Record Review says "quite frankly, this is one of the most thrilling piano records I've heard for quite a while".
Actually the runners-up turned out to be pretty good too, with performances from the well-established Emerson and Takács Quartets and next-big-things the Pavel Haas Quartet as well as the first installment of a Beethoven sonata set from 2 more up-and-coming artists.

Beethoven: Violin sonatas volume 1. Alina Ibragimova; Cédric Tiberghien [Wigmore Hall Live]
Dvorák: "Old World, New World". Emerson Quartet [DG]
Prokofiev: String quartets. Pavel Haas Quartet [Supraphon]
Schumann: String quartet no.3; Piano quintet. Marc-André Hamelin; Takács Quartet [Hyperion]

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