Album: Brahms, Piano Quartets 1 & 3 – Nash Ensemble, (Onyx)

At some point during the recording sessions for this disc, the Nash Ensemble must have decided to play as though live, and not to the microphone.

Their G minor Quartet (Opus 25) is most appealing in its delicate Intermezzo and vivid Rondo all Zingarese, but the try-hard heaviness of the Andante is too coarse for me. The C minor Quartet (Opus 60) is a more refined performance, with a notably taut Scherzo. Exciting, intense stuff, but not for those who like their chamber music understated.

Pick of the Album: A robust performance of the Opus 60 'Andante'