Schumann: Piano Quintet Op. 44 and Piano Quartet Op. 47 (2019)

Schumann

Nils Anders Mortensen, Engegard Quartet

The new release from Nils Anders Mortensen and the Engegård Quartet is devoted to Schumann’s quartet and quintet for piano and strings. Robert Schumann produced a large number of chamber music works in 1842, among them the piano quintet op. 44 and the piano quartet op. 47, both in E flat major. The works were composed at the same time, side by side, and the listener can hear definite similarities in both structure and mood, but also distinct differences.

Both works contain vigorous and expressive outer movements, in which inspiration from Mozart’s vitality and Bach’s counterpoint is combined with Schumann’s own imaginative signature in both dreamy and dramatic sections that follow each other in rapid succession. The scherzos in both works are virtuosic, with sharply contrasting middle sections. But the quintet contains a movement “in modo d’una marcia”, in march style, solemn enough to be a funeral march, and both poetic and fiery in nature. As for the quartet, it has a cantabile movement with an immortal cello melody.

The piano quartet and the piano quintet are cornerstones of the Romantic chamber music literature and contain some of Schumann’s most deeply personal musical moods.

With his critically acclaimed record releases and concerts as soloist with the principal Norwegian orchestras, Nils Anders Mortensen has distinguished himself as one of Norway’s leading pianists. He is employed as state musician in Finnmark County and is active as freelancer.

Formed under the midnight sun in Lofoten in 2006, the Engegård Quartet has rapidly become one of Norway’s most sought after ensembles, known for its bold and fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire. The quartet has attracted international acclaim and performs regularly in Norway and abroad.

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Nils Anders Mortensen

Nils Anders Mortensen was born in Flekkefjord in 1971. He began playing piano at age three, and in 1986 he won the Norwegian Young Pianist Competition. He studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music, École Normale in Paris, and Hochschule fu?r Musik und Theater in Hannover with Einar Steen-Nøkleberg. Other important teachers have been Tatjana Nikolajeva and Hans Leygraf.

In 1996 Nils Anders Mortensen was the recipient of the prestigious Concerts Norway “Debutant of the Year” award. He has won international prizes and grants. In 1998 he won the Mozarteum Prize in Salzburg. In 2004 Mortensen received the Robert Levin Memorial Prize.

 

Mortensen has appeared as soloist with Norway’s leading orchestras. He recorded piano concertos of Geirr Tveitt with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. His solo album Im Freien, with music of Debussy, Grieg, and Bartok, was released in 2012 to glowing reviews. Mortensen has also released four recordings with mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland on the LAWO Classics label: Früh (LWC1033), Sæle jolekveld (LWC1040), Grieg (LWC1059) and Young Elling (LWC1072).

Engegard Quartet

Formed under the midnight sun in Lofoten in 2006, with Arvid Engegård and Alex Robson on violin, Juliet Jopling on viola, and Jan Clemens Carlsen on cello, the Engegård Quartet is one of Norway's leading chamber ensembles. Their bold, fresh interpretations of the classical repertoire combined with a deep attachment to their Scandinavian roots has attracted international acclaim, and inspired some innovative partnerships and programming. The quartet’s debut album was praised as ‘breath-taking’ in The Strad, while their second release won Pizzicato magazine’s ‘Supersonic Award’. More recently, a album of works by Grieg, Sibelius and Olav Anton Thommessen was praised by Tully Potter in Music Web International as ‘what Grieg lovers have been waiting for’. The Engegård Quartet has a busy concert schedule throughout Scandinavia and further afield. They have performed in some of Europe’s finest venues including the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Prague’s Rudolfinum, and last year traveled to South America for concerts in Bogotá and Sao Paolo. Festival performances include the Delft Chamber Music Festival, SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest, and Heidelberg’s Streichquartettfest. Members of the quartet are also deeply involved in bringing superb chamber music to Norway – Arvid Engegård as founder of the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival, and Juliet Jopling as artistic director of the Oslo Quartet Series. The Engegård Quartet has had the honor to work with (among others) András Schiff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Ihle Hadland, and Emma Johnson. They also love to collaborate with colleagues from different musical traditions, including a folk/classical fusion with hardanger fiddler Nils Økland, and a program of Ibsen and late Beethoven with actor Bjørn Sundquist. Future plans include a new work written by and performed with jazz violinist Ola Kvernberg and an annual ‘mini-festival’ focusing on one composer each year, starting with Schumann. ‘Schumann 1-2-3’ is scheduled and promises to be a feast of chamber music, song, piano works, poetry, discussions and lectures. The Engegård Quartet is supported by the Norwegian Arts Council. foto: Espen Mortensen
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Schumann: Piano Quintet Op. 44 and Piano Quartet Op. 47 (2019)

Schumann

Nils Anders Mortensen, Engegard Quartet

Mastering Engineer: Thomas Wolden
Producer: Vegard Landaas
Recording Engineer: Thomas Wolden
Recording location: SOFIENBERG CHURCH, OSLO, 29–31 AUGUST 2018
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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LWC1189: Schumann: Piano Quintet Op. 44 and Piano Quartet Op. 47
00:53:17   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Schumann Piano Quintet, Op. 44 - I. Allegro brillante
Schumann
00:08:43   N/A
2.
Schumann Piano Quintet, Op. 44 - II. In modo d'una Marcia. Un poco largamente
Schumann
00:07:42   N/A
3.
Schumann Piano Quintet, Op. 44 - III. Scherzo. Molto vivace
Schumann
00:04:56   N/A
4.
Schumann Piano Quintet, Op. 44 - IV. Finale. Allegro, ma non troppo
Schumann
00:07:10   N/A
5.
Schumann Piano Quartet, Op. 47 - I. Sostenuto assai. Allegro, ma non troppo
Schumann
00:08:23   N/A
6.
Schumann Piano Quartet, Op. 47 - II. Scherzo. Molto vivace
Schumann
00:03:25   N/A
7.
Schumann Piano Quartet, Op. 47 - III. Andante cantabile
Schumann
00:05:45   N/A
8.
Schumann Piano Quartet, Op. 47 - IV. Finale. Vivace
Schumann
00:07:13   N/A

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