Anton Bruckner is more renowned for his gigantic symphonies than his contributions to the chamber genre. The String Quintet has received some recordings before, most notably on Decca with the famous Vienna String Quartet but the String Quintet is quite a rarity and it is good to have both works on CD.
The Leipzig String Quartet are steeped in the best Austro German tradition coming from that great city with a vast cultural history in all spheres of the arts. They are joined by the excellent Hartmut Rohde for the quintet which comes across quite beautifully especially in the massive Adagio that lasts almost a quarter of an hour. I would not say that this version eclipses the one on Decca but it is very fine nonetheless and comes with the benefit of excellent sound throughout.
The String Quartet is much slighter and it actually lasts less than half the quintet. Here there is some influence from Beethoven and Haydn but Bruckner shows he is his own man in the lovely Andante that contains some fine melody. MD&G have provided an excellent sound picture and the playing of the Leipzig team is never short of enthusiasm. Recommended for the quartet although the Vienna recording on Decca remains the one to have for the larger work.
Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech