S0229. THE FALK QUARTET, w.TOMER LEV (Pf.): Piano Quintet in E-flat; Piano Quintet in g (both Thuille) . (England) ASV DCA 1171. Final Sealed Copy! - 743625117127
“Ludwig Thuille, who was born in 1861 and died in 1907, is an obscure figure nowadays though he was once highly regarded as what Richard Whitehouse’s booklet-note calls a ‘radical conservative’. His E flat Piano Quintet is a striking work, owing a good deal to Brahms but taking the idiom forward into more chromatic territory without losing a hold on Classical securities.
He has the capacity to sustain interest with his handling, in one Allegro, of a little four-note figure that releases a remarkable wealth of music; he can then produce an easeful melody that suffuses a long but very appealing Adagio. Part of his skill lies in his beautiful sense of scoring, with original textures that include a wittily argued contrapuntal pizzicato section (Thuille was a famous teacher, of Bloch among others). He never allows the music to thicken too much in this treacherous medium, as even Brahms himself could. In the final Allegro e risoluto, the resolve is perhaps a little strenuous for the actual material, but Thuille is far from alone among late 19th-century composers in finding trouble with finales.
The g minor Quintet is a earlier work, written indeed when Thuille was only 19. If he has not achieved the more distinctive voice shown in the E flat work, there is some attractive music here, especially in the rather touching Larghetto. In both quintets, Tomer Lev and the Falk Quartet play with affection and enthusiasm, and convey a real sense of belief in this neglected composer. Anyone with a love of Brahms’ chamber music should certainly try to hear the record, and will surely enjoy it.”
- John Warrack, GRAMOPHONE