SIR CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD
String Quintets and Intermezzi
SOMM Recordings’ widely acclaimed survey of Charles Villiers Stanford’s chamber music continues with his two String Quintets and Three Intermezzi arranged for cello and piano.
A unique collaboration between members of the Dante and Endellion Quartets, together with pianist Benjamin Frith, sees first recordings of the String Quintet No.2 in C minor and the arrangement of the Three Intermezzi.
'The musicians in this recording play with real fire and commitment, and are admirable advocates for these superb scores. The performances are beautifully recorded in an ambience that confers warmth and intimacy. Who better than Jeremy Dibble, renowned authority and biographer of Stanford, to provide the accompanying booklet notes. None of the works on this disc had I heard before, but I’m immensely grateful to have made a first encounter.'
Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International
'...three quarters of the Dante Quartet and half of the Endellion Quartet join forces in richly expressed performances of these beautifully wrought works, both cast in a post-Brahmsian Romantic mould'
Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times
'...it’s worth reiterating just what a debt of gratitude lovers of British music owe to SOMM and the Dante Quartet for their commitment to Stanford’s chamber music. Listening to this vibrant new recording, what struck me was… the freshness, the spontaneity, the instinctive ‘rightness’ of Stanford’s writing for strings. This might be the most satisfying body of work in this genre by any British composer before Frank Bridge. … there’s an operatic since of drama in the finale of the First Quintet, and a sweeping, almost symphonic emotional range in the Second.....[the combined Dante and Endellion players are] wholly inside this sincere and strikingly passionate score. Cellist Richard Jenkinson and pianist Benjamin Frith play the Schumannesque Three Intermezzi with unaffected warmth; a lovely bonus on a highly rewarding album.”
Richard Bratby, Gramophone