mariani piano quartet
The new album „Brahms & Gernsheim – Piano Quartets“ will be released on May 7th 2021 on Audax Records.
A coproduction with SWR2.
Elbphilharmonie (Kleiner Saal)
Adresse: Platz der Deutschen Einheit 4.
Friedrich Gernsheim: Klavierquartett c-Moll op. 2
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Klavierquartett Es-Dur KV 493
Johannes Brahms: Klavierquartett Nr. 3 c-Moll op. 60 Tickets kaufen
The four members of the Mariani Piano Quartet were still studying in Berlin when they first made each other’s acquaintance as chamber recitalists, and their first joint concert at the Hagnau Classical Music Fes- tival on Lake Constance persuaded them to continue to perform together . The Mariani Piano Quartet finally came into existence in the wake of an intensive period of working together at various chamber music festivals in the autumn and winter of 2009 .
The Mariani Piano Quartet first came to the attention of a wider audience at the German Music Competition in the spring of 2011 . Their first CD, Phantasy, featuring works by Bridge, Martin and Schumann, followed two years later .
The press praised the performers’ “spirit and passion”, their “vitality and delight in their playing” and their “urgent intensity”, adding that they had poured their “lifeblood into literally every note” and con- cluding that “although they are still young, they already perform with masterly maturity” . Among the venues and festivals where the Mariani Piano Quartet has already been in- vited to appear are the Ludwigsburg Castle Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festi- val, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Luxembourg Philharmonie, Leipzig and the Beethovenhaus in Bonn, while their de- but recital at the Berlin Philharmonie was broadcast live by the arts channel Deutsch- landradio Kultur . Further recordings were made in connection with their concerts for North German Radio NDR and South-West Radio SWR .
BRAHMS & GERNSHEIM
The Mariani Piano Quartet dedicates itself to an almost forgotten friendship and begins a journey of discovery with Audax Records, juxtaposing the piano quartets of Johannes Brahms with those of Friedrich Gernsheim. Gernsheim, a child prodigy educated at the renowned Leipzig Conservatory, spent several years in Paris, where he experienced the scandalous Tannhäuser performances and became acquainted with Rossini, Saint-Saëns and Lalo, among others, and went on to hold important positions in Saarbrücken, Berlin, Cologne and Rotterdam. Mahler and Strauss appreciated him and conducted his music. After his death, however, his musical legacy fell victim to the anti-Semitic climate in Europe. On the first album of a three-part series, the Mariani Piano Quartet presents Gernsheim’s sensually indulgent C minor quartet alongside perhaps the best-known work of the genre: the Piano Quartet in G minor, op. 25 by Brahms with its unbridled energy and symphonic radiance. A rousing musical journey back in time to the Romantic era in captivating interpretations.
IDÉE FIXE Vol. 2 – FAURÉ, ENESCU
The Mariani Piano Quartet on the new album Idée fixe, Vol. 2 is full of the sonic power and the tonal extremes, the richness of color and the finest dynamic nuances of the monumental piano quartets Faurés and Enescus.
Presented the critically discussed album Idée fixe – Vol. 1 with the second piano quartet Faurés and the first Enescus the similarities of the compositional styles of both, also the CD Idée fixe – Vol. 2 makes their compositional affinity palpable. The compilation, however, also demonstrates how Enescu distances himself from his teacher’s style.
The two piano quartets rehearsed by Mariani, Fauré’s first in C minor, op. 15 and Enescu’s second in D minor, op. 30, which he dedicated to „the memory of his master Gabriel Fauré“, are each characterized by an idée fixe, the underlying almost all topics in all sentences. The scores of both works seem to be overburdened with dynamic, agogic and articulatory instructions. But these specifications are aimed at a consistently lively, polyphonic sound speech, which the Mariani Quartet is fascinatingly realizing. So it not only sings in its thoughtful and passionate as transparent game, but it speaks – in the deepest sense of the word. The CD is produced in cooperation with rbb Radio Berlin-Brandenburg.
EMILIE MEYER – Piano quartets 1 & 2
Compositions that already on a first hearing leave behind a uniquely original impression.‘ This is what klassik-heute.com wrote after the release of cpo’s first CD with piano trios by Emilie Mayer. Her extensive chamber oeuvre for piano also contains two piano quartets. She composed these two works, one in E flat major and the other in G major, at the end of the 1850s. At the time Emilie Mayer was an esteemed composer residing in Berlin: most of her works were performed with success, and she enjoyed broad recognition in music circles. Each of her quartets consists of four movements. Here her model in formal matters was not so much Mozart or Beethoven but Schumann, whose sole Piano Quartet op. 47 had been published a good fifteen years before. Considering her music as a whole, we may say that in her piano quartets, just as in her chamber oeuvre in general, Emilie Mayer was a compellingly independent composer with firm rooting in classical models who succeeded in developing a romantic musical language all of her own.
Idée Fixe Vol. 1 – Fauré, Enescu
Between 1895 and 1899 – together with Maurice Ravel – George Enescu studied composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré in Paris. It is fascinating to observe how Enescu continues the spiritual heritage of his teacher and, over time, translates the musical language of Fauré into modernity under the influence of Romanian-folkloristic elements.
On this album, the second piano quartet of Fauré was joined together with the first of Enescu. Both pieces, apart from their monumental length, are linked by an „idée fixe“, which is based on almost all themes in all movements. The first notable musical work of the French romanticism, in which this leitmotivic subject processing comes into play, is Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique (1830). César Franck, one of the greatest role models for Gabriel Fauré, developed this cyclic theme in his works and influenced a compositional style that, among other things, Saint-Saëns and Debussy used in some works.
When four young soloists blend together to form such a unity as do the musicians of the Mariani Piano Quartet, then it is something very special. Occupying prominent positions in ensembles such as the Gewandhausorchester and the Berlin Philharmonic does not necessarily guarantee the sensitivity, blind understanding and desire to find one’s own interpretation that they show us in this GENUIN debut CD entitled „Phantasy“. This disc with piano quartets by Robert Schumann, Frank Bridge and Bohuslav Martinů is a mature production, the fire of which never denies the youthfulness of this ensemble, meanwhile showered with international prizes. A must for chamber music fans!