String Octet, Op. posth. (1920)
Quintet for Piano & String Quartet, Op. posth. (1918)
String Quintet in A minor (1918)
Ensemble Ulf Hoelscher
CPO 999451-2 78:54
Two of these stunning works were written at the end of Bruch's long and productive musical life. If you already know and love the First Violin Concerto, Bruch's most popular work, you will certainly enjoy all of these exceptionally lovely pieces.
The Octet, with it's depth of emotion, and its rich scoring (virtuosic first violin part and use of bass viol to replace the more customary cello) creates a mood that is poignant and unforgettable.
The Viola Quintet is a delightful work and it contains an ear-worm Scherzo. I played the Scherzo over and over and wound up singing, whistling, tapping my foot and finally was compelled to purchase the parts.
Mention must be made of Ulf Hoelscher and his ensemble. It is an especially fine-sounding group, and he is a strong and sensitive violinist. This disc is a must-have for chamber music lovers. Thanks again to CPO for being a champion of lesser-known works.