Daniel Hope, Paul Neubauer, David Finckel, Wu Han : Brahms, Schumann, Mahler: Piano Quartets


96kHz/24-bit FLAC, DG 479 4609 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Daniel Hope and colleagues (the pianist is the wife of former Emerson Quartet cellist David Finckel) recorded this programme live at Lincoln Center in March ’15. Mahlerians will want primarily to hear the fragment composed in 1876, not well represented in the catalogue. But it’s rather repetitive and Mahler only found his true voice a few years later in the Klagende Lied. The Brahms (First) Piano Quartet is the one orchestrated by Schoenberg. The playing is fearsomely good, with the Schumann scherzo a special delight. But it’s all rather suave and they do milk the romanticism in Schumann’s slow movement. The players are each close-miked: at least you can separate viola from violin when together but there’s a tendency to stridency at forte in this acoustic. I had to experiment with cabling, two DACs and long warmup to get a good sound. CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

A genuine 96kHz rendering, the full ~45kHz bandwidth is occupied by piano (up to around 8kHz) and beyond by the various strings. Harmonics from the ‘Ex-Lipinski’ violin, loaned to Daniel Hope, extend to 40kHz. PM