Piano Quintets of Brahms & Shostakovich Released on New Album by Olga Kern, piano & Dali Quartet

SBO Staff • News • March 18, 2022

Presented by the Virginia Arts Festival, recorded during 2019 Virginia Arts Festival season
Recorded during the 2019 Virginia Arts Festival season in the Robin Hixon Theater, Clay & Jay Barr Education Center, two landmark works of the chamber repertoire, the piano quintets of Johannes Brahms and Dmitri Shostakovich, are rendered with power and beauty by acclaimed pianist Olga Kern and the path-breaking Dalí Quartet.

Brahms tried different combinations of instruments for what became his Piano Quintet before settling on the warm, rich sound of four strings to blend and contrast with the power and dramatic capabilities of the piano. The piece has long been a favorite with players and audiences.

While Brahms chose to open his quintet with a movement in classical sonata form, Shostakovich began his with a prelude and fugue, acknowledging Bach. One of the most popular works of chamber music from the 20th Century, the quintet is emotionally intense and the mood vacillates from happy to sad, tragic to cheerful, and everything in between.

Olga Kern is the winner of many prestigious awards, including the Gold Medal of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She has soloed with leading orchestras around the world. Kern is making her Delos debut with this album, following a run on the Harmonia Mundi label that included a GRAMMY® nomination for Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations.

This album is presented by the Virginia Arts Festival, celebrating its 25th season this year. Olga Kern is the Connie and Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music for the Festival and will appear on several concerts this spring.

The Philadelphia-based Dalí Quartet is best known for spearheading an infusion of Latin American works into the chamber repertoire. Rapturously received in its live performances, the Dalí is Quartet in Residence at West Chester University and was the 2021 recipient of the Guarneri String Quartet Residency.

Founded in 1973, Delos has released more than 650 albums featuring top artists. A pioneer in digital recording, Delos is known as a label with a strong personality that attracts a host of major performers and has also garnered acclaim for the technical excellence of its recordings.

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