Schubert - String Quintet in C, D. 956 (Label: Deutsche Grammophon)
Franz Schubert - Composer
Mstislav Rostropovich - Cello
Emerson String Quartet – String Quartet

The String Quintet in C major, D 956, op. 163, is Franz Schubert’s final piece of chamber instrumental composition, written during the summer of 1828, just two months before his death.  The Quintet was first performed on 17 November 1850 in Vienna and it was published a few years later in 1853.

World famous Cellist, Rostropovich, one of my favourite cellists, has partnered here with the famed Emerson String Quartet to great success. Rostropovich's flawless technique accompanies the Emerson's exquisite craftmanship express the quintet in a fascinating fashion.  A true joy of music making can be felt among these 5 musicians, to the delight of the listener.

A simple word to describe their extraordinary interpretation of Schubert's music is beautiful. The nuances they created and their phrasing enhanced what was written by Schubert. The  quintet’s playing is clean, tight and disciplined, with phrases tightly knitted and dramatically expressed. The rubato and phrasings are generally meticulous.

My favourite is none other than
the breathtaking and tender second movement, Adagio, with the Emerson’s dominant first violin and first cello lines that sings in a heartbreaking manner. It truly brings out the serene beauty of the movement.

This Quintet is one of Schubert's incredible masterworks; it is also one of the finest pieces in teh chamber music repertoires. Rostropovich's collarboration with the Emerson String Quartet is an added bonus. This particular recording is among the most soulful of the Schubert C Major Quintet, formign an enlightening musical experience. 

~ Written by Boon Sin Ler

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