Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Juliusz Zarębski

Always good to find a new work. I am fascinated by the piano quintet of Juliusz Zarębski, a Ukrainian Pole who died in 1885 at the age of only 31. Yet another great loss to music. The piano quintet is a remarkable work; the solo instruments are all often heard in solo passages, as well as in the usual concerted sections. I had never heard of the composer – nor of this work – before this week.

It appears on a 3-CD set of Martha Argerich and friends at the 2011 Lugano Festival in Switzerland. Martha Argerich has never been one of my favourite pianists, too eager, in my view, to establish her reputation as a tigress of the keyboard. In the Zarębski work, I'd loved to have heard Alfred Cortot or Edwin Fischer (amongst others). But Argerich and her team (which includes Gautier Capuçon on the cello) make an excellent case for the quintet.

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