Chamber music fans have long awaited this MDG special edition bringing together two standard-setting recordings of Philipp Scharwenka’s chamber music. These CDs created a sensation when they were first released but disappeared from the catalogue many years ago. The press wrote that the recording of his piano trios by the Trio Parnassus offered “an absolutely addictive combination,” while the Mannheim String Quartet was said to convey “ideal balance between expression and structure.”
Scharwenka steered clear of fads and modish fancies. Grounded in the tradition of the nineteenth century but hardly reactionary or retrospective, his music counted Max Reger among its very knowledgeable admirers. Scharwenka was an indisputably masterly inventor of catchy themes, and his motivic work and harmonic sophistication make for rewarding listening experiences.
And so do our illustrious ensembles. The Mannheim String Quartet magnificently presents Scharwenka’s music in its “greatest formal perfection and tonal beauty” – thus a contemporary review. Moreover, Thomas Duis, a proven chamber music expert, joins the quartet musicians for the Piano Quintet. The Trio Parnassus, an experienced top ensemble, gets down to business with its gripping renderings not only of famous musical warhorses but also of many a new discovery.
Two CDs, packed with chamber music, rereleased at a special price, and including an encore: the Violoncello Sonata, performed with feeling and flair by Michael Groß and Chia Chou of the Trio Parnassus. This is late romantic filigree work that goes straight to the heart and is guaranteed to delight audiophile chamber music fans – and not only them!