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This useful pairing finds Brahms at his most autumnal, the entire quartet unfolding at moderate speeds and the quintet dominated by a mood of elegy and nostalgia.

The Brodskys offer a mellow account of the former and blend well with Collins in the latter – especially the great Adagio, which has a shimmering, ruminative quality.

But it is essential in this music not to wallow in the reflective aspects to the point where tempi drag and contrasts are ironed out – a trap into which these gentle, almost genteel, performances nearly fall.

Brahms

String Quartet Op 51 No 2, Clarinet Quintet

Brodsky Quartet, Michael Collins

(Chandos)

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