Piano Quintet in D Major, Op.51
"The Piano Quintet, which dates from 1900, is a masterpiece of Arensky's maturity. The Quintet consists of the ususal four movements. The first, Allegro moderato, is in a histronic fashion, its dense texture recalling Schumann's Quintet. The second movement is simply entitled Variations. The theme comes from an old French folksong, Sur le Pont d'Avignon. In addition to the theme, there are four variations, of which the Tempo di Valse is particularly noteworthy for its shifting harmonies. The capricious Scherzo which follows has two trios. The finale, Fuga, allegro moderato, as the title suggests begins with a fugue, baroque-sounding, which is eventually abandoned when the main theme from the first movement reappears as a coda. This Quintet is most effective, affords enjoyable playing, and comes off well in performance."---V.M Belaiev writing In the Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music.
Anton Arensky (1861-1906) was born in Novgorod but his family moved to St. Petersburg while he was still relatively young. His first piano lessons were from his mother. He entered the Petersburg Conservatory in 1879 and three years later graduated with high honors. Among his principal teachers was Rimsky-Korsakov. He subsequently taught at the Moscow Conservatory where he befriended and was influenced by Tchaikovsky and Sergei Taneyev.
This important addition to the piano quintet repertoire has been unavailable for many years now and we are very pleased to reintroduce such a fine work.