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Piano Quintet in A minor, Op 14

'Saint-Saëns: Chamber Music' (CDA67431/2)
Saint-Saëns: Chamber Music
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67431/2  2CDs   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Movement 1: Allegro moderato e maestoso
Track 1 on CDA67431/2 CD2 [10'53] 2CDs
Movement 2: Andante sostenuto
Track 2 on CDA67431/2 CD2 [6'45] 2CDs
Movement 3: Presto
Track 3 on CDA67431/2 CD2 [4'58] 2CDs
Movement 4: Allegro assai, ma tranquillo
Track 4 on CDA67431/2 CD2 [7'50] 2CDs

Piano Quintet in A minor, Op 14
The Piano Quintet in A minor Op 14, Saint-Saëns’s earliest cyclic composition, was composed in 1855, but only published ten years later. It is dedicated to the composer’s great-aunt Charlotte Gayard Masson, who lived with him and his mother and gave him his first piano lessons. The piano plays a dominant virtuoso role, often in opposition to the string quartet, but also engaging in dialogue, ensemble, contrapuntal, and unison passages.

The first movement, Allegro moderato e maestoso in common time, provides a chordal introduction, repeated within the movement, followed by the statement and development of three portentous themes, and a recapitulation featuring a cadenza for the piano. The lyrical second movement, Andante sostenuto in F major in 3/8 time, presents a serious, noble chorale-like theme on the piano answered by the strings, joined by a second cantabile theme initiated by the viola followed by the quartet, and then a reprise of the first theme. The third movement, an A minor Presto in 6/8, consists of a moto perpetuo using two active motifs, a more expressive middle section, and a coda suggesting the opening of the quintet. The final movement, Allegro assai, ma tranquillo in A major, contains a fugato built on a scale-like theme for the strings followed by a second lyrical theme for the full ensemble, then enmeshes the two contrapuntally, and finally invokes the second theme of the first movement. This youthful work projects a frank and confident mood.

from notes by Sabina Teller Ratner © 2005

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Details for CDA67431/2 disc 2 track 4
Allegro assai, ma tranquillo
Recording date
30 July 2004
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
  1. Saint-SaŽns: Chamber Music (CDA67431/2)
    Disc 2 Track 4
    Release date: May 2005
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