Scharwenka would probably be too busy keeping his head from spinning in delight over the superb polish, technique, and expressive nuance of the Salon de Musiques musicians. Had you never been told that this was a US première, you would likely have thought that the Piano Quintet was an old friend of these musicians. I’m not sure how much time the musicians had to live with the Scharwenka. It doesn‘t really matter. The players – Guillaume Sutre (first violin), Searmi Park (second violin), Helen S. Callus (viola), Antonio Lysy (cello) and Steven Vanhauwaert (piano) – utterly conquered this rich score. The playfulness at certain points, the exhilarating sense of risk – all of these were hallmarks of musicians for whom the score had ceased to be merely notes to be memorized, and had become flesh of their flesh.

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