I found this release puzzling: why supplement what is pretty much universally regarded as a transcription which creates a synthesis of orchestration and imagination leavened with brilliant touches of sly wit and humour? Schoenberg’s re-imagining of Brahms’ Piano Quartet No 1 in G Minor is Schoenberg for people who hate Schoenberg. Schoenberg considered Brahms, along with JS Bach, his greatest precursor and saw himself as the grateful inheritor of their respective mantles. Works like the Op. 25 transcription very strongly created a highly personalized view of his predecessors. (When Solti came to record Schoenberg’s knotty opera Moses and Aaron, he told the players of the Chicago Symphony to pretend they were playing Brahms!)

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This more conservative re-incarnation by Richard Dünser is much...

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