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Gernsheim Piano Quintets
Posted by Peter on September 2, 2015, 11:29 pm
I'm grateful to Rob Barnett for his review of the new CPO disc of the two Piano Quintets of Gernsheim. However, given his mention of "a few Gernsheim discs" I was dismayed he did not mention the Toccata disc of these works. To be sure we can't expect our reviewers to refer to all other relevant discs. But there are a number of reasons why attention should be given to the Toccata disc. First and foremost, it is a veritable stunner. Martin Anderson once wrote to me that its one of the best discs he has produced (it was a relatively early Toccata release and of course there have since been many other immensely successful discs from Toccata.) Second, I think it true to say that before the Toccata disc few of us (and certainly myself) were largely unaware of Gernsheim. My eyes (ears?) were opened by the disc and I've since wanted to listen to all the Gernsheim works that are available on disc. That Toccata disc put Gernsheim on the map (at least in this country) and that is a good reason why it should be mentioned here.
My copy of the new CPO disc is in the post and therefore I can't comment on it. I hope it is good enough to stand side by side with the excellent Toccata disc.
Rob also mentioned that the Mandelring Quartet have recorded Gernsheim's second quartet. In fact there are five string quartets, and I hold it a scandal that only the second has been recorded. I'm always cajoling quartets who I encounter to investigate Gernsheim: several have expressed interest, but have not taken it further. A great pity!
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