Piano Quintet F minor Op. 34

Finale. Poco sestenuto - Allegro non troppo

  • Recorded: 14th November 2021
  • Record Place: Domovina Studio
  • First Release: 2022
  • (P) 2022 SUPRAPHON a.s.


  • music by: Johannes Brahms
  • piano: Boris Giltburg
  • musical group: Pavel Haas Quartet


Boris Giltburg, Pavel Nikl, Pavel Haas Quartet

Brahms: Quintets Op. 34 & 111

Catalogue Number: SU 4306-2
Published: 13th May 2022
Genre: Chamber Music
Format: 1 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • Choc de Classica, Classica magazine (2022)
  • Diapason d´Or, Diapason Magazine (2022)
  • Recording of the Week, Presto Classical (2022)
  • Disc of the Week, Europadisc (2022)
  • CD of the Week, NDR Kultur (2022)
  • Recordings of the Year Winner, Presto Classical (2022)
Pavel Haas Quartet: Veronika Jarůšková - 1st violin, Marek Zwiebel - 2nd violin, Luosha Fang - viola, Peter Jarůšek - cello. Boris Giltburg - piano, Pavel Nikl - viola

Their recording of the American Quartet and String Quartet No. 13, Op. 106 (Gramophone Award - Recording of the Year), elevated the Pavel Haas Quartet among the finest performers of Antonín Dvořák's music. This position was subsequently confirmed by a recording of the composer's quintets, made with the violist Pavel Nikl, a founding member of the ensemble, and the pianist Boris Giltburg, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. The album received the most coveted classical music accolades (Gramophone Chamber Award, BBC Radio 3 Record Review Discs of the Year, Diapason d'Or, etc.). While recording the Dvořák quintets, the logical idea of a Brahms album was born. And now it has come to fruition. Dvořák was encouraged by and ultimately attained global fame owing to the kind support and friendship of his older colleague Brahms, who in his twenties had been just as generously aided by Clara and Robert Schumann. Brahms' relationship with Clara is probably also behind the Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34. Originally conceived as a string quintet, in the spring of 1864 Brahms transformed it into a sonata for two pianos, yet Clara voiced her doubts about this version's sound too. The desired contrast and richness of colour was ultimately achieved by combining the strings and the piano. Clara Schumann performed the piano part at the private premiere of the quintet, which she referred to as having "symphonic" proportions. This aspect is clearly foregrounded on the present Pavel Haas Quartet recording. Brahms allegedly intended the String Quintet in G major, Op. 111, to be his last piece of music. In this light, it may come across as a reflection of the music he had cherished during his life - from Beethoven, Schubert, the Viennese waltz, his contemporary Wagner, to his beloved Hungarian dance motifs.

From Dvořák to Brahms. A spellbinding "symphonic" chamber music sound.


“I always find it extraordinary that a small group can produce such a huge sound, full of raw power and magnificent enormity… A notable example of this is in Op. 34, where, aided by Giltburg's lavishly sonorous contribution, they provide a sumptuous conclusion to the first movement that conjures the resonance of a much larger ensemble. Another constant thread running through all their recordings is the range and variety of timbres that they deliver, and the ease with which they switch between them… with these splendid accounts of both quintets they have most certainly not disappointed.”
Presto Music, May 2022

“…the sound of pianist Boris Giltburg reunited with the Pavel Haas Quartet, still a potent partnership… Giltburg brings the weight and sonorous tone that the piano part needs, but he stays fully integrated with the opulent sound of this quartet. Always part of the team. The richness, the flexibility of phrasing and the sheer dynamic range of the ensemble is impressive, and they are joined by viola player Pavel Nikl for Brahms’ G major string quintet… Outstanding Brahms chamber music, then.”
BBC Radio 3 Record Review, May 2022

“On this new account, however, Giltburg’s Fazioli instrument achieves a subtle blend with the strings, so that there’s a markedly less concertante, more collegial feel than on many rival accounts… After this marvellously invigorating yet well-balanced account of the Piano Quintet, the G major String Quintet opens with a Mendelssohnian joyfulness, with exuberant violin and viola tremolos over an energetically leaping cello theme… The elation of the final two pages is palpable, bringing to a thrilling close one of the most uplifting and outstanding Brahms chamber discs of recent years, and just as urgently recommended!”
Europadisc, May 2022

“Over 20 years of performing, the Haas Quartet have lost none of their east European spunk and folksy edge, qualities just as valuable when playing Brahms. Fiery passions and the crispest of rhythms mark outer movements, while slow movements bask in heartfelt nostalgia. Either way, everybody wins.”
The Times, May 2022

“Boris Giltburg is an equal partner in all this, of course, and the colour and variety of his tone is a marvel in itself… The G major String Quintet astonishes from the very first bars, with cellist Peter Jarůšek digging heartily into the low D of his long-breathed melody, then soaring in a full-throated, joyous cantabile. And I’m gratefully stunned by how the PHQ (joined here by the ensemble’s founding viola player, Pavel Nikl) render the score’s intricately woven textures with stunning clarity… These performances are tremendously rewarding and I urge my fellow Brahmsians to hear them.”
Gramophone, June 2022

“The Pavel Haas Quartet is joined by its former violist Pavel Nikl, whose walnutty timbre acts as a piquant foil to the rich, chocolatey tone of Luosha Fang. This is a group whose sound is built from the bottom up, however, and it is the cello of Peter Jarůšek that forms the solid basis of this interpretation, whether it be the joyously sprawling theme of the opening movement or the pregnant pizzicatos that drive the Adagio. The players revel in the work's changing moods with full-toned freedom in the sonorous surroundings of Prague's Domovina Studio.”
The Strad, June 2022

“The differentiated playing of the Pavel Haas Quartet and pianist Boris Giltburg is most astonishing. But this state of astonishment does not last long. What happens in this interpretation is too compelling… In this performance [String quintet] the work is played powerfully, with effective contrasts between agitated, grippingly urgent passages and more serious thoughts.”
Pizzicato, June 2022

“Denn all die Stimmungen und Effekte, die von sentimentalem Zauber über hemdsärmelige Robustheit bis hin zu lebensbejahendem Schwung reichen, haben die Musiker nicht einfach ungemein souverän, eindringlich und mitreißend aus einem Guss eingefangen. Man war mit genauso viel Geist und Gefühl bei der Sache. Großartig.”
Rondo, June 2022

“The Pavel Haas Quartet and Boris Giltburg take on the piece with no holds barred: this is an all-giving, full-on version in which the sense of involvement is total and the exhilaration scarcely stops, but for the beautifully tranquil second movement… The String Quintet is sharing the undoubtedly thrilling qualities of innate ensemble playing, strong instinct for tempo and the sense of sheer love for the music.”
BBC Music Magazine, July 2022

“Dass die fünf Musiker sich bestens verstehen, zeigen schon die ersten Takte mit ihren markanten Umschwüngen und den beredten Pausen. Ob große Bögen oder kleine Details, Giltburg und das Pavel Haas Quartet stöbern die Herausforderungen bei Brahms zielsicher auf und finden dafür die jeweils passenden Lösungen… Für das zweite Werk dieser Aufnahme, Brahms' zweites Streichquintett, hat sich das Quartett mit Bratscher Pavel Nikl verstärkt, ehemals zählte er selbst zur Stammformation des Ensembles. Virtuosität bedeutet in diesem Fall die Verbindung spieltechnischer Qualitäten mit musikalischem Gespür und einem hohen Maß an Natürlichkeit. Genau das zeichnet diese neue Brahms-Aufnahme aus. Da hört man die ganze Zeit gerne zu.”
NDR Kultur, July 2022

“How do the Haas approach Op.34, with pianist Boris Giltburg (on a Fazioli)? Sweeping, soaring and songful in the allegro and andante, thrilling bite and drive in the scherzo and finale, the dynamic range stunningly wide, an almost orchestral power through climaxes; the final coda has a physically stunning ferocity. Wow! … The Pavel Haas Quartet with Pavel Nikl on second viola do all that their Op.34 leads one to expect. The devoted Brahmsian is swept up in the power and the glory of this ensemble, even more hearts-of-oak, dark, full and powerful due to the centrally-placed cello. Again, such breath-taking delicacy too; the almost supernatural dynamic ability to turn on a musical sixpence from a whisper to a roar.”
MusicWeb International, July 2022

“Il faudra désormais compter avec la vision très fusionnelle de l’excellent quatuor tchèque avec Boris Giltburg. Il règne entre eux une unité sonore assez extraordinaire: l’ensemble cordes-piano sonne littéralement comme un corps unique dont les parties s’envoient la réplique au fil de l’interprétation. Le Pavel Haas confirme cette lecture fort unitaire de Brahms dans le 2e quintette où il est rejoint par l’altiste Pavel Nikl.”
Le Soir, July 2022

“Giltburg erweist sich in seinem begnadet-uneitlen Musikantentum einmal mehr als einer der führenden Pianisten seiner Generation. Sein Spiel bleibt organisch-natürlich, wo andere nach Effekt haschen. Giltburg begreift Virtuosität nicht als Pyromanie eines drittklassigen Action-Reißers, sondern als verlängerten Ausdruckswillen… Von der Atmosphäre wechselt dieses so wienerische Stück zwischen aufbrausender Lebensfreude und melancholischer Abgeklärtheit, spannt den Bogen von einer vereinzelten Träne auf Rosengrund bis hin zu wissender Hoffnung… Was für eine Musik. Welch wunderbar selbst im stürmischsten Furioso stabiles Maß haltende Interpreten.”
Online Merker, August 2022

“The group really shines in the turbulent F minor piano quintet, as dark and intense as anything else Brahms ever wrote, and a work that went through several versions before the composer was satisfied with it. One feature of this ensemble is the variety of timbres offered by the individual players… In every way, a superior Brahms chamber release.”
Allmusic.com, July 2022

“La sonorité d’ensemble puissante et pleine d’énergie du Quatuor Pavel Haas tranche avec presque toutes les autres formations d’aujourd’hui. En termes de volume, d’engagement, de vitalité, c’est absolument impressionnant, dès le mouvement initial du Quintette op. 34 en fa mineur. Le pianiste Boris Giltburg s’investit à fond dans la grandiose architecture, sans que son souci d’extrême précision n’agisse au detriment de la dynamique collective et de l’édifice polyphonique… Rejoints par l’alto de Pavel Nikl, ex-membre de la formation, dont le timbre acéré s’oppose et se marie savoureusement avec celui de l’actuelle altiste, plus riche et mordoré, les Pavel Haas offrent une interprétation sensuelle et capiteuse du Quintette op. 111 en sol majeur…”
Diapason, September 2022

“What the Pavel Haas specializes in is detailed playing of consistent intensity; their presentations extract maximum passion from the music.”
Fanfare, October 2022

“No shortage of either piece on recordings, obviously; but this one merits special attention. Not only is the coupling unusual, but the performances are uncommonly intense. In the Piano Quintet the things that stand out for me are the depth and range of the piano playing along with the quartet’s almost subliminal control of dynamics and transparency… The G-major Viola Quintet has all the richness and splendor of other late Brahms… From the exuberant opening to the last, frenetic Magyar coda to the finale, this is a performance suffused in joy. ”
American Record Guide, November 2022

“Les Pavel Haas assument une vision profondément romantique, donnant vie aux tempêtes brahmsiennes avec une vitalité irrépressible. Leurs lignes jaillissantes, leurs accents incisifs, vifs comme l’éclair, et leurs atmosphères miroitantes et poétiques captivent de bout en bout: on n’en sort pas indemne.”
Classica, December 2022

“This new version by the estimable Pavel Haas Quartet, joined by pianist Boris Giltburg, is, by every measure, an exceptionally fine performance, technically flawless, musically gratifying, and captured by a vivid, detailed recording… Superbly well-done as it is, however, I would have to place Giltburg and the Pavel Haas Quartet in the mainstream of recorded performances of the work, comparable to those by András Schiff with the Takács Quartet and Leon Fleisher with the Emerson Quartet, which is hardly a bad place to be. Clearly, the comparison places the Haas and Giltburg in company with the elite… the present performance by the Pavel Haas Quartet, joined by violist Pavel Nikl is very, very fine, indeed, and its appeal may even be enhanced by the disc’s programming which sets two very contrasting works by Brahms side by side. Recommended.”
Fanfare, January 2023

“Boris Giltburg's playing on a Fazioli piano has a crystalline clarity, and is at once pellucid and powerful… The G-Major String Quintet is well anchored by Peter Jarůšek’s cello… Supraphon’s sound is excellent… this new release is outstanding on its own terms. Recommended.”
Fanfare, January 2023

“Im Klavierquintett f-Moll op. 34 belebt der israelische Pianist Boris Giltburg an einem Fazioli-Flügel klanglich das Geschehen, ohne sich dabei in den Vordergrund zu spielen. Alles verläuft wie aus einem Guss, souverän und voll Wärme. Im späten Streichquintett G-Dur op. 111 tritt uns der reife Brahms in der Fülle seiner Farbspiele, seines Melodienreichtums entgegen und trifft dabei unüberhörbar auf viel Herzblut. Pavel Nikl an der zweiten Bratsche unterstreicht den dunkel samtenen Grundduktus des Werkes.”
D8 Kultur, June 2023

“Das Resultat klingt, insbesondere in den vitalen Ecksätzen beider Werke, energiegeladen und temperamentvoll. Giltburgs spielerische Vielseitigkeit kommt im besinnlichen Andante 7, um Tragen, wenn sich der Tastentanz behutsam um die Stimmen der Streicher dreht. Ein wunderbar vielschichtiges Fest für den Meister Johannes Brahms.”
Sächsische Zeitung, May 2023

“As the music progresses, Pavel Hass' approach and Brahms's dark, restrained mood merge… there are few quartets that take you as far into the music as the Pavel Haas Quartet.”
Klassisk, August 2023

“This performance ranks with the very best recordings of these iconic works. Tempestuous with vigorous bow attacks, it is also sweetly lyrical with velvety tenderness… Pianist Boris Giltburg discerningly weaves his part through the ensemble with astonishing technique and musicianship. Former quartet member violist Pavel Nikl adds verve to the symphonic texture of the string quintet, especially in the opening with its explosion of sound. The string players are virtuosic but true chamber musicians. Highly recommended!”
Stringendo, October 2023

Johannes Brahms
Piano Quintet F minor Op. 34
1. Allegro non troppo 15:35
2. Andante, un poco adagio 08:32
3. Scherzo. Allegro - Trio 07:14
4. Finale. Poco sestenuto - Allegro non troppo 10:31
Johannes Brahms
String Quintet No. 2 G major Op. 111
5. Allegro non troppo, ma con brio 13:14
6. Adagio 06:09
7. Un poco allegretto 05:29
8. Vivace ma non troppo presto 04:57

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