For this final disc in the series, the Emperor Quartet have gathered five works from the composer's earliest period, from the String Quartet in F, by a fourteen-year old schoolboy, to the Simple Symphony, composed six years later and the work which may be regarded as his breakthrough.
Walter Braunfels was one of those all-too-ubiquitous figures in the German musical world of the 1920s and early '30s, who – through no fault of his, and even less of his music – managed to go from the center of the musical world to near-complete-obscurity as a composer. And that obscurity lingered for decades after his death in 1954, until the end of the twentieth century, when he was belatedly rediscovered
"Don't be fooled: the period instruments are no gimmick. This is an exquisite rendering of the D956, full of brooding tenderness in the Adagio and of delightful energy in the other movements. It is not as slick or polished as some other recordings (e.g. the Alban Berg Quartet's EMI, which I would also highly recommend), and the recording is crystal clear, i.e. unforgiving. The result may not be to everyone's taste, but I have never heard a more satisfying version of this work. Shame on Sony for letting it lapse from their catalog!"
Mozart's Missa brevis was well done but this Requiem lacked strength and passion. Colin Davis and the London Philharmonic performed an earlier work which still stands out for me.
She has performed with musicians such as Heinz Holliger, Pinchas Zukerman, James Galway, Salvatore Accardo, Maurice Andrè, Keith Jarrett, Christopher Hogwood and Claudio Abbado, and appeared as soloist with many of the worlds major Chamber Orchestras and Symphony Orchestras.