OLD SOULS – Beethoven… Wolf…. Kreisler… – Gili Schwarzman, flute…Guy Braunstein, violin…Susanna Yoko Henkel, violin…Amilhai Grosz, viola… Alisa Weilerstein, cello – PENTATONE (PTC 5186 815) Recording Producer, Editing and Mastering, Justus Beyer
Husband Guy Braunstein and wife Gili Schwarzman have played recitals together as a duo and separately since they were married. They recently set out to explore ways of integrating the flute into the string quartet, serenade, sonata or quintet formats, thus making it a fifth member of the traditional two violins, viola, and cello structure for which so much good Romantic literature exists.
By inviting the flute that normally inhabits the world of the Baroque into the terra incognita of Beethoven, Hugo Wolf, Fritz Kreisler, and Antonin Dvořák, the pair and their colleagues Susanna Yoko Henkel, Amilhai Grosz, and Alisa Weilerstein collectively achieved a cohesive sound perfectly suited both to the severity of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 4 in A Minor, and the Italianate sound of Wolf’s Serenade on G Major, the Viennese Gemütlichkeit of Fritz Kreisler’s piéce d’occasion Syncopation, and the American dance rhythms of Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12.
In each of Braunstein’s arrangements Schwarzman takes the spotlight with a chameleonic capacity to change colors, from the silvery brightness of her Wolf to the darker hues of her Beethoven.
The five old souls in the quintet are nothing short of perfect as an ensemble in accuracy, musicality and flair, delivering felicitous results throughout the CD’s nine tracks and making its 52 minute playing time fleetly fly by.
Just listen: https://youtu.be/woz6kvEng9E
Rafael de Acha