Critique CD Vierne USA
"Starting with the “green” side, we have the piano quintet—a full-fledged near-masterpiece of a composition written in 1917 after receiving news that his 17-year-old son had been killed in action in the war. The work is full of passionate grief, sorrowful longing, and bitter melancholy. It is in many ways the equal of the Franck Quintet in musical substance and, perhaps, even surpasses it in excellence. Written in the chromatic style typical of the late-Romantic French composers, Vierne launches the first movement in C Minor, where two main themes are developed. The second movement continues the somber mood and it is not until the third and final movement that an agitated mode breaks out with pounding keys and vehement strings. This vigorous music collapses into an eerie stillness, where the first movement’s passionate theme reappears, only to be exploded with a fiery coda. Yes, this music is “green” all the time for me—it is excellent through and through. The Terpsycordes Quartet, anchored at the piano by Muza Rubackyte, perform the daylights out of it, giving full sway to the emotional content in a satisfying and dynamic performance.
I am familiar with just one other performance of the Piano Quintet, and that is by Le Groupe de Chambre de Montreal on a Musica Viva CD from 1995. This Canadian ensemble couples the quintet with the Vierne Cello Sonata, a much more apt coupling. In the quintet, the Canadians cut about 3 minutes off of this work by shaving time in all three movements. I think their performance is quite fine, but I like Muza Rubackyte and team even more for their more emotional performance. I don’t know the recordings of the quintet on Hyperion, Tympani, Gramola, MDG, or Atma, so there are plenty to choose from. What I can say with assurance is that this present release is excellent in every way and it does Vierne and his powerful piano quintet proud.
"The Piano Quintet is a wonderful work, very well performed and recorded and well worth your attention."
Mark Novak, Fanfare Magazine, 2016