An undisputed masterpiece of the Russian repertoire – Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet – is joined by the little known Prokofiev Quintet which had a vexed gestation together with a rarity from the Hungarian-born Matyas Seiber who lived most of his life in Britain. In it, Peter Pears takes the role of narrator of passages from the James Joyce text. All recordings are released internationally on CD for the first time.
Quintet for Piano & Strings, Op. 57
SERGEI PROKOFIEV: Quintet in G minor, Op. 39
MATYAS SEIBER: Three Fragments from ‘The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man’*
Melos Ensemble of London
Peter Pears, narrator*
‘(Shostakovich) We all know that the Melos Ensemble is a virtuoso group but I have never heard them give a clearer demonstration of sheer musicality than this. There is plenty of power and brilliance when it is called for but what is especially exciting is the intensity of expression that they get into the quieter passages—really inward playing, this, full of nuance but without any suggestion of exaggeration’ Gramophone
‘(Prokofiev) …the Melos play it with such immense panache…’ Gramophone