The fifth CD boxed set, Vol. V, from the series The RIAS Amadeus Quartet Recordings is dedicated to nineteenth-century Romantic composers. This six-volume edition presents exclusively first releases on CD. The Amadeus Quartet included a wider repertoire in the broadcasting studio than in the recording studio. Works by Edvard Grieg and Robert Schumann interpreted by the Amadeus Quartet can be heard here for the first time on CD. And five works in this edition represent novel repertoire that the Amadeus Quartet never recorded on LP: Dvorák's Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, Grieg's String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 27, Mendelssohn's String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 12, as well as Schumann's String Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3 and Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44.
I Solisti Veneti is one of the first rank of small Italian chamber orchestras with modern instruments. Founded in Padua in 1959 by Claudio Scimone, it has made a reputation especially with Italian Baroque music, recording many works by Antonio Vivaldi, Tomaso Albinoni, Francesco Geminiani, Benedetto Marcello and Giuseppe Tartini. Giuliano Carmignola and Piero Toso were two of the soloists in the ensemble. The group has made over 300 recordings, many on the Erato record label. A number of these were first-ever recordings of works of Vivaldi, Albinoni and Rossini.
Although apart from Nos. 3 and 4 Mendelssohn’s Symphonies turn up surprisingly rarely in concert programmes there are now many complete recordings from which the collector can choose. For anyone with a special interest in the composer the chance to compare the approaches of, say, Karajan, Abbado, Sawallisch and Masur may well be irresistible, and when versions by other distinguished conductors who have recorded only individual Symphonies, including Toscanini, Norrington and Gardiner, are added the choices seem endless.
Mendelssohn's complete works for cello and piano fit on a single CD with room to spare, and your collection should have room to spare for the terrific performances contained on this disc. Cellist Elizabeth Dolin and pianist Bernadene Blaha emphasize the composer's classicism and elegance, in contrast to the somewhat wilder spin with which cellist Mark Shuman and pianist Todd Crow suffuse these works. But whereas the latter ASV release is resonant to a fault, Analekta's engineering conveys a more intimate and equally warm ambience that falls kindly on the ears. Dolin and Blaha are never less than equal partners, which is important considering that Mendelssohn treats both instruments as such. (Classics Today 10/10)