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Brahms & Gernsheim
Piano Quartets Vol. 2

Following its first album, which was awarded a Diapason d'Or, the Mariani Piano Quartet continues its journey of discovery by juxtaposing the piano quartets of Johannes Brahms with those of Friedrich Gernsheim. The ensemble is dedicated to the now almost forgotten friendship between the two composers. Although this second album is dominated by Brahms' light-flooded A major quartet - his longest - and although the friendship between the two composers is at the center of this three-part project, Gernsheim's F major quartet in particular shows that not only Brahms was one of his influences, but that he was also able to fuse echoes of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert into a convincing personal style. In the hands of the Mariani Piano Quartet, the formal perfection of his urgent work shines with unimagined power.

Release: 14.10.22 / Label: Audax Records

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Idée Fixe Vol. 2 - Fauré, Enescu

On the new album Idée fixe, Vol. 2, the Mariani Piano Quartet fully exploits the tonal power and tonal extremes, the richness of color and the finest dynamic nuances of Fauré's and Enescu's monumental piano quartets.
While the critically acclaimed album Idée fixe, Vol. 1, with Fauré's second piano quartet and Enescu's first, presented the similarities between the compositional styles of the two, the CD Idée fixe, Vol. 2 also makes their compositional affinity palpable. However, the compilation also demonstrates how Enescu distanced himself from his teacher's style.
The two piano quartets recorded by Mariani, Fauré's first in C minor, op. 15 and Enescu's second in D minor, op. 30, which he dedicated "to the memory of his master Gabriel Fauré", are each characterized by an idée fixe that underlies almost all the themes in all the movements. The scores of both works seem to be overloaded with dynamic, agogic and articulatory instructions. However, these instructions are aimed at a consistently lively, polyphonic sound, which the Mariani Quartet realizes in a fascinating way. In its thoughtful, passionate and transparent playing, it not only sings, but also speaks - in the deepest sense of the word. The CD was produced in cooperation with rbb Radio Berlin-Brandenburg.

Release: 7.2.20 / Label: gwk Records

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Idée Fixe Vol. 1 – Fauré, Enescu

From 1895 to 1899, George Enescu studied composition in Paris with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré - together with Maurice Ravel, incidentally. It is fascinating to observe how Enescu continued the intellectual legacy of his teacher and, over the course of time, translated Fauré's musical language into the modern age by adding Romanian folkloristic elements.

On this album, the Mariani Piano Quartet  juxtaposed Fauré's second piano quartet with Enescu's first. In addition to their monumental length, both pieces are united by the fact that they are each characterized by an "idée fixe", which underlies almost all the themes in all the movements. Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique (1830) is the first notable musical work of the French Romantic period in which this leitmotif-like thematic treatment comes into play. César Franck, one of Gabriel Fauré's greatest role models, developed this cyclical theme further in his works and shaped a compositional style that Saint-Saëns and Debussy, among others, also used in some of their works.

Release: 2.6.17 / Label: gwk Records

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Brahms & Gernsheim
Piano Quartets Vol. 1

The Mariani Piano Quartet goes on a journey of discovery with Audax Records and juxtaposes the piano quartets of Johannes Brahms with those of Friedrich Gernsheim: In times of social distancing, the ensemble dedicates itself to the now almost forgotten friendship between the two composers. On the first album of a three-part series, the quartet presents Gernsheim's Piano Quartet in C minor op. 20 with its sensually indulgent melodies alongside perhaps the best-known work of its genre: the Piano Quartet in G minor, op. 25 by Johannes Brahms with its unbridled energy and symphonic radiance.
Equally appreciated during his lifetime as Brahms, Gernsheim's musical legacy fell victim to the anti-Semitic climate in Europe after his death in 1916. Not only was Brahms a friend and enthusiastic supporter of Gernsheim, he was also held in high esteem by the music world as a whole.
Brahms' Piano Quartet in G minor op. 25 was composed around ten years earlier than Gernsheim's Piano Quartet in C minor. "The era and the proximity of the two composers give rise to many similarities," says the quartet, "but it is important to us not to compare their music too sweepingly. Gernsheim is a master of the elegant, long melody. Brahms, however, gives his melodies a further dimension that perhaps only he was able to compose in this way.

Brahms & Gernsheim - Piano Quartets is a captivating musical journey back in time to the Romantic period that takes you into the exciting world of inspiring friendships.

Release: 7.5.21 / Label: Audax Records

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Emilie Mayer - Piano Quartets 1 & 2

Her extensive piano chamber music compositions also include two piano quartets. The composition of the two works in E flat major and G major can be dated to the end of the 1850s. At that time, Emilie Mayer (1812-1883) was living in Berlin as a recognized composer: most of her works had been performed successfully and she enjoyed wide recognition in professional circles. Her two quartets have four movements. Here, Mayer's outer form is based less on Mozart or Beethoven and more on the model of Schumann, whose only piano quartet op. 47 had been published a good 15 years earlier. Overall, it can be said that in her piano quartets, as in her entire chamber music oeuvre, Emilie Mayer found her way to her own Romantic tonal language as a strikingly independent composer with strong roots in classical models.

Release: 4.12.17 / Label: cpo

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When four young soloists merge to form a unit like the Mariani Piano Quartet, it is something special: after all, occupying prominent positions in orchestras such as the Gewandhaus Orchestra or the Berlin Philharmonic does not guarantee the sensitivity, the blind understanding and the desire for individual creativity that we hear on this GENUIN debut CD "Phantasy". The disc with piano quartets by Robert Schumann, Frank Bridge and Bohuslav Martinů is a mature production, but its fire never denies the youthfulness of the ensemble, which has been showered with international prizes. A must for chamber music fans!

Release: 1.9.13 / Label: Genuin

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