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Piano Quintets

By Pehr Henrik Nordgren

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Composed by Pehr Henrik Nordgren, Alexander Borodin (1833-1887), and Max Bruch (1838-1920). Recording mediums. CD. Duration 66' 48''. MDS (Music Distribution Services) #EDA 1. Published by MDS (Music Distribution Services) (M7.EDA-1).

Item Number: M7.EDA-1

In its very first thematic series (released in the 1990s), eda records dedicated itself to presenting a total of six recordings in the piano quintet genre, many of which were the first to ever be recorded worldwide. The Finnish-German PIHITPUDAS KVINTETTI (Pihtipudas Piano Quintet), artistic partners of eda records in this project, is the only professional chamber ensemble to date which works exclusively in this line-up. In 2013, it celebrated the 25th anniversary of its founding. Since then, the renowned formation hasn't just focused on the main pieces in its repertoire - far from it. Instead, it has dedicated much of its activity to unearthing a wide variety of little-known and forgotten works, thus enriching the piano quintet genre with its discoveries and recordings in a highly original manner.In its first release, which also marked the birth of eda records, the ensemble dealt with two Romantic works which had remained largely unknown since their composition. Max Bruch's piano quintet in G-minor was only published a few years before the recording was made, almost exactly a hundred years after its creation. Bruch could hardly be called a proponent of chamber music. Nonetheless, he was not about to turn down an order from a board member of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society, which he himself had recently become director of. After getting off to a promising start in England, his hope was that his works would continue to spread throughout the English-speaking world. It took Bruch no less than nine years to complete his work, which ended up never even being printed during his lifetime. The posthumous publication of this unjustly forgotten gem did not appear until 1988.Alexander Borodin's early piano quintet in C-minor hails from the initial phase of his composing work. He wrote it at the age of 28 on a journey to Italy, prompted by the young pianist Katarina Protopova, whom he went on to marry. It was on this journey (in 1862) that Borodin was called to St. Petersburg - albeit not as a composer, but as a chemist. In the same year, he met Balakirev, who was to give him lessons in order to channel the musical inclinations which he had already developed at an early age. Listeners will immediately appreciate for themselves how original this quintet is in its mixture of tuneful 'Russian' elements and characteristic regional elegy.Between these two works comes the quintet of Pehr Henrik Nordgren - a fascinating melange of Nordic/Finnish and Far-Eastern sounds and traditions, and the ensemble's homage to Finland, where they did most of their work. Nordgren spent many years in Japan and incorporated the 'folkloric' (in the broadest sense of the word) musical traditions of both lands, which formed the two centre-points of his life.

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