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The combination of Hyperion’s state-of- the-art recording, an inspired repertoire choice and committed, musicianly performances makes this disc a winner. Both composers featured here are deserving of further exposure (try also the excellent CPO disc of Zarebski solo piano works played by Marian Mika). The Prague and Paris-educated Wladislaw Zelenski (1857-1921) is remembered, if at all, for his operas. His Piano Quartet is darkly Romantic and the players display a clear rapport, with Plowright careful never to obfuscate textures; the highlight is the gorgeously sustained, rapt Romance, which contrasts with the angular, playful Intermezzo.

The short-lived Liszt pupil Julius Zarebski (1854-85) was a virtuoso whose music is notably intense, especially in its use of counterpoint. Mystery infuses the ululating surfaces and metric feints of the Quintet’s Adagio (featuring some lovely cello playing from Marcin Sieniawski), in which the demonstration standard recording really comes into its own. A fascinating disc, lovingly produced.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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