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Schumann’s chamber music is, with Mendelssohn’s, an absolute benchmark for the first half of the century in Europe. From Brahms to Fauré, from Saint-Saëns and Lalo to Borodine, passing by Tchaikovsky, nobody could escape from neither his emotional power nor his formal model. Between Schumann’s Piano and Strings works, posterity seems to have operated a firm rating: the Quintet is at the top followed by the trios and then the Quartet. If we follow this, the Quintet for piano and Strings would be one of the greatest masterwork of the German composer and one of the summits of the chamber music repertoire, while the Quartet for piano and strings, its little brother, composed during the summer of 1842 in the same E flat major colour, would only be its lesser replica. Although respectable, history’s judgement should be open to question.

Choc Classica award Choc Classica 2010 award