Philip Buttall
MusicWeb International
December 2015

The complete CD is an absolute revelation, and one which I could otherwise so easily have dismissed initially as ‘just not my cup of tea’. Ornstein connects with such a truly individual voice in both works, that it really makes this CD eminently so special. True, as a pianist, I prefer the Piano Quintet, but the Second String Quartet will surely have strong support too, from the chamber-music fraternity.

I have often found that works where true motivic development is lacking can become tedious, as one idea or texture is simply just replaced by the next—rather like an attractive train journey but that leads nowhere. It could be argued that these two works fall into that same category, but, and for whatever reason—perhaps it’s simply the sheer magic of the stunning performance by Hamelin, and the Pacifica Quartet—that I never wanted either work to end, with that—for me quite rare—urge to 'play it again, Leo' but whichever camp you eventually end up in, you’ll never know until you get hold of a copy yourself.