Schoenberg: Five Pieces, Cello Concerto, Brahms Quartet Transcription

This is Schoenberg for people who hate Schoenberg. The Five Pieces for Orchestra, far from sounding radical or appallingly dissonant as they must have in 1909, now impress us as impressionistic, atmospheric, and evocative. The loony Cello Concerto after Monn and the Brahms Piano Quartet are both modern classics in the art of transcription, not to mention one composer's very strongly personalized view of his predecessors.

Robert Craft's performances are uniformly impressive, particularly in the Cello Concerto. Its appallingly difficult solo part is handled with consummate intelligence and virtuosity by Fred Sherry, and the accompaniment hardly could be clearer or cleaner in texture. The Brahms is very good too, surpassed only by Craft himself in his earlier Sony recording with the Chicago Symphony. This newcomer, however, does enjoy much better sonics, and at the Naxos price makes an excellent bargain. --David Hurwitz,

“A good selection of Schoenberg works here receive excellent performances on this Naxos release under Robert Craft’s expert direction.” --Musicweb International

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