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Zarebski Piano Quintet, Op 34

Żeleński: Piano Quartet, Op. 61

Hyperion: CDA67905

This is an inspiring and disturbing CD of music by two substantial composers, disturbing because they are both unknown in the West

These two important chamber works from 19th-century Poland, in quality equivalent perhaps to those of Dvorák and Brahms, are by formidable composers completely unknown outside their native country and not mentioned even in the Second Edition of the massive tome The Piano in Chamber Ensemble (Maurice Hinson).

These major works of Żeleński (pronounced Zhelainsky) and Liszt pupil Zarebski (pronounced Zarempski - his proper spelling in the caption is not available on my computer !) are of originality and stature to challenge those "in the repertoire" [Adrian Thomas].

They are done proud here by Jonathan Plowright (piano) and the Szymanowski Quartet, as recorded in Potton Hall, Suffolk by Ben Commellan last December.

Plowright [R], admired by Musical Pointers but rarely heard in London is one of our favourite pianists and at his peak in these affectionate performances.

The insert notes are thorough and interesting and I urge you to purchase this important release.

Plowright's contribution prompts me to seek his concerto recordings for Hyperion; obscure 19 C. concertos are unlikely to make the symphony concerts repertoire, but there is no reason why chamber groups should not take up these quartet and quintet for a start and explore others by those composers. I love them and challenge the London Chamber Music Society and the Conway Hall Sunday Concerts to be the first to programme one at Kings Place or Red Lion Square.

Peter Grahame Woolf