Korngold’s marvellous Piano Quintet was written just after the success of his opera Die tote Stadt. As he so often did after composing a huge work, he turned to the intimacy of chamber music. This Quintet’s personal quality is further enriched by its connection with his future wife, Luise von Sonnenthal, quoting from the beautiful Songs of Farewell he’d earlier written for her, and, she claimed, including a secret imitation of her voice.
Brahms’s magnificent Quintet likewise owes something to a musical woman. It began life as a string quintet, then became a piano duo, and lastly the mighty work we know; throughout this process of creation and re-creation, Brahms’s friend and mentor Clara Schumann offered advice and encouragement, finally lauding it as ‘a model of tonal beauty…a restorative for every music-lover.’
These two distinctive and original masterpieces for piano quintet throw into relief the mature and individual voice of young Australian composer Jakub Jankowski. And how brilliant to have them all performed by the Goldner Quartet and Piers Lane – long-time friends, colleagues, collaborators – who for so long have championed the old and the new with utter commitment.